The influential British Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) has called on the UK government to expand its support for BECCS technology. In a recent policy statement, IMechE considered the potential for future land-use tensions between crops grown for electricity production and crops grown for food. According to its analysis, realistic projections of land required for BECCS power generation in 2050 range between 0.18 gigahectares (Gha) and 0.27 Gha globally. This is compared to 4.13-8.83 Gha required for food production, out of a total 10 Gha capable of supporting biomass at the global level. Such deployment of BECCS would result in 2.9-4.4 Gt of carbon sequestered per year.
Given the modest land-use requirements for BECCS compared to food production, IMechE concludes that, "in the case of current global aspirations for electricity production from biomass, those [land-use] tensions may be small. Furthermore, through the use of an integrated management approach to food and biomass-based electricity production, ... they may indeed be eliminated." Further taking into account the significant carbon storage potential of BECCS, IMechE recommends the UK government increase domestic and international support for BECCS, including "pursuing the future inclusion of 'negative emissions' credits in international climate change mitigation agreements."