THE University of York has received over £190,000 for a project that could tackle climate change.

Biomass is used for low-carbon renewable energy generation and is a key component in UK’s commitment to tackle climate change

The project - titled HEMP-30 - was one of 24 projects across the UK to win in the UK Government’s £4 million Biomass Feedstocks Innovation competition.

It is hoped the funding will increase UK production of biomass that can be used as sources of green energy. Projects include growing algae from whisky manufacturing, increasing yields of grass varieties and accelerating the breeding of willow trees.

HEMP-30 is described looks at a change in the production and utilisation of industrial hemp as a biorefinery crop.

The University is looking at a major expansion of the breeding, growing, harvesting and utilisation of industrial hemp as a UK crop through the 2020s and 2030s.

Biomass is a small but important part of the renewable energy mix that the UK requires to meet its commitment to eradicate its contribution to climate change by 2050 - and is also backed by the UK’s independent Committee on Climate Change.

Biomass materials include non-food energy crops such as grasses and hemp, material from forestry operations and marine-based materials such as algae and seaweed.

Energy Minister Lord Callanan said: “Working to develop new and greener types of fuel like biomass is an important part of building a the diverse and green energy mix that we will need to achieve our climate change targets.

“We are backing UK innovators to ensure we have a homegrown supply of biomass materials, which is part of our wider plans to continue driving down carbon emissions as we build back greener.”

Other local projects to benefit included SeaGrown Limited in Scarborough.

It will use over £180,000 funding to develop new techniques to farm and harvest seaweed off the North Yorkshire coast, taking advantage of seaweed’s qualities as a source of biomass and its ability to remove carbon from the atmosphere.

Rickerby Estates Ltd in Carlisle received over £150,000 to look at scaling-up the harvesting of willow crops using new cutting-edge technology such as automated processing machinery that is controlled by GPS satellite guidance systems.