AEBIOM Bioenergy Conference Opening

240 representatives of the global bioenergy sector gathered today in Brussels to discuss the sustainable future of bioenergy at the 4th AEBIOM Bioenergy Conference. This conference is a major event to address the opportunities and challenges of biomass developments in Europe.

Michael Goodwin, Energy Attaché at the Permanent Representation of Ireland to the EU confirmed that there is a strong EU political will to renewable energy developments towards 2020 and beyond. On ILUC, a possible first reading may take place under the Lithuanian Presidency and options are still discussed, in particular on the 5% cap of first generation biofuels.

Joachim Balke, Member of Cabinet of Commissioner Günther Oettinger, underlined that biomass is critical for the decarbonisation of the energy sector: According to the EU 2050 energy roadmap, biomass production would have to triple to reach a CO2 emissions reduction of 80 – 95% in 2050. On possible EU sustainability criteria, he indicated that there is no decision taken yet at the Commission’s level and that this question is complex.

Bioenergy developments are not limited to the EU Energy Policy. M. Wall, Principal Administrator of DG Enterprise raised the questions on whether there should be different sustainability criteria for different end uses and whether the cascading principle should be part of the analysis. M. Holzer, Head of Unit in DG Agriculture recalled that climate change and renewables are one of the strategic priorities of rural development under the future CAP.

The message was wrapped up by Gustav Melin, President of AEBIOM, who added that EU biomass developments are crucial to meet EU security of supply and decarbonisation.

An extensive conference programme will be held on Tuesday 18th during with crucial topics like sustainability, carbon accounting and advanced biofuels. Based on last year success, matchmaking events will again be organized to allow industry players to set up business meetings. Wednesday 19th will be dedicated to side visits to various bioenergy facilities.

The positive responses to the opening session and first day round table debates have already convinced the participants that it’s a must to attend annually the AEBIOM Bioenergy Conference which is already a well-established brand in the area of high-level bioenergy events.

Discussing the future of bioenergy is essential since more than 50% of the EU 2020 renewable energy 20% target is expected to be met by various forms of bioenergy. According to Member State projections, biomass use in heating and cooling is expected to increase by 47% and biomass use for electricity generation is projected to more than double between 2010 and 2020.

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