Britain Seen off to Slow Start on Biomass, Biofuels
"I think we in the UK have probably been a bit behind the game in both biofuels and biomass. We are seriously trying to catch up now," he said at the annual Oxford farming conference.
Biofuels, which are produced using agricultural products such as rapeseed oil, grain and sugar cane, can replace traditional transport fuels and supporters believe they have a role in reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. Biomass uses agricultural products to generate electricity.
Britain is currently holding a consultation about how to develop its biomass production.
Lord Bach said the government would come up with a biomass policy later this year, noting many controversial issues had been raised.
A recent government report backed the use of biomass but faced criticism for failing to set any targets for its use by Britain's power industry and there remains considerable debate about how big a role it should play in meeting the country's future energy needs.
Lord Bach added that the government was seeking a policy that was attractive to farmers and businesses and good for the country.
"I have to tell you we are not there yet," he said.
Britain recently announced a plan to promote biofuels use, setting a five percent target for its use to be met by late this decade.
He noted the government was working to quantify the benefits of biofuels but said he would be "very surprised" if they were not beneficial to the environment.