Crops for Energy was set up in 2004 in order to provide balanced, authoritative and independent information to farmers and land owners who are interested in planting energy crops. Even today, the majority of companies working in this field are linked with only one crop option and therefore growers need to talk to several companies to form their own view.
Through our consultancy work, the creation of the Lantra accredited Energy Crops course and our freelance work for trade journals (such as Farmers’ Weekly) we provide impartial information on the industry and the different crop options available in order to empower farmers and land owners to make a commitment to the energy crop that is most suitable for them.
The main remit for Crops for Energy is to see renewable energy flourish in the UK and to ensure that energy crops and biomass plays a significant role in this. A critical element of unlocking this potential is making sure that the most appropriate biomass feedstock is allocated to the most suitable end use. In addition, we encourage our clients to look ahead in order to fully understand the need for energy crops as part of a diverse energy mix that will help ensure a degree of security of fuel supply.
We have performed individual projects for a client base ranging from individual householders to businesses, to local authorities and nature conservation bodies. We also deal with the bigger picture by lobbying for additional support for the energy crops sector through liaison with national bodies (such as Natural England and the National Farmers’ Union) and policy makers in Government departments (e.g. DECC and DEFRA). We apply our independence to all areas that we work on including anaerobic digestion, biomass boilers, combined heat and power and microgeneration.
We are not selling any of these technologies and are therefore in a position to provide an informed value judgement to our clients. We do not engage in industry gossip or push favoured products. We simply advise our clients of flawed projects such as where a product was erroneously specified or is being used inappropriately. There is a multitude of biomass feedstocks and renewable energy systems available and with most there is a degree of “horses for courses”.
Crops for Energy make it possible for our clients to back the winner for their situation.
Kevin Lindegaard has 21 years experience working in the field of energy crops and renewable energy. He spent 9 years working at Long Ashton Research Station as the plant breeder in charge of the European Willow Breeding Programme. He was responsible for breeding high yielding and disease resistant willow varieties including: Beagle, Quest, Resolution, Discovery, Terra Nova, Nimrod and Endeavour.
From 2005-2008 he worked as the Renewable Energy Development Officer at Dorset County Council and was responsible for rolling out the Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole Renewable Energy Strategy. Other posts include spells with the Swedish company Lantmannen Agroenergi and its UK offshoot Renewable Fuels as well as the Centre of Sustainable Energy in Bristol. Kevin is recognised across Europe for his energy crops policy work. He is a director of the Wood Heat Association.