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Free Content The future contribution of bioenergy enterprises to rural business viability in the United Kingdom

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Bioenergy enterprises have been granted an official role in the UK in order to make a significant contribution to sustainability targets and yet our understanding of attitudes amongst farmers and rural entrepreneurs to these enterprises is yet to be fully understood. Financial support, electricity tariffs, the availability of advice and the profit foregone from other enterprises have all fluctuated. The level of adoption of the new technology is not as advanced as in other EU countries. This study seeks to discover why this could be by exploring the entrepreneurial, financial and motivational environments that bioenergy adopters are working in. The following hypotheses have been developed:

The entrepreneurial environment for bioenergy development in the UK is sympathetic to the needs of this emerging industry;

Adopters of bioenergy are positively motivated towards the venture; and

Farm based bioenergy enterprises make a positive contribution to overall farm business viability.

The UK government is looking to rural entrepreneurs to play a role in this through the adoption of bioenergy technologies which can contribute towards achieving the country's energy and climate change targets and at the same time offer potential farm enterprises that could be viable long-term contributors to farm enterprise sustainability (NFU, 2008). This study extends and applies the concepts of entrepreneurship environment and country institutional profiles to a specific domain of entrepreneurship in the land based bioenergy sector in the UK.

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Keywords: Bioenergy; entrepreneurial environment; entrepreneurship; renewable energy; viability

Document Type: Research Article

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Publication date: 2011-10-01

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