Bioenergy plays and will keep on playing an increasingly important role in the EU’s efforts to decarbonise; this sector will be indispensable for meeting the European Union’s climate and energy targets for 2030, 2050 and beyond.
Brussels, 6 June 2023 – More than 300 CEOs and high-level representatives of European industry – manufacturing and utilities companies, technology providers, SMEs, multinationals – are drawing attention to the critical role which bioenergy technologies have in the EU decarbonisation path. The manufacturing of solid biomass equipment and carbon removal solutions must be recognised and included in the Net Zero Industry Act.
Sustainable bioenergy has multiple benefits – it is a cost-effective, readily available solution for decarbonisation which uses biomass resources obtained through sustainable forest management, good agricultural practices and the valorisation of residues in a circular way. Modern bioenergy solutions maximise energy efficiency and minimise pollutant emissions in the atmosphere to negligible levels. Additionally, bioenergy, in combination with Carbon Capture and Storage technologies (BECCS) or biochar carbon removal (BCR), can not only generate fossil-free, renewable energy but can also deliver, in a cost-effective manner, the carbon negative solutions that will be necessary for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Above all, it should not be forgotten that bioenergy is largely an indigenous, European solution: with 95% of the solid biomass used in Europe being locally sourced and the remainder overwhelmingly sourced from trusted allies. Europe is the undisputed leader in bioenergy technologies worldwide. European companies are at the forefront of deploying innovative bioenergy solutions supplied by European technology providers. At a time when the technology suppliers from so many other sectors have moved to other non-EU countries, these European technology providers are an asset we cannot afford to lose. Confronted with Russian aggression in Ukraine and high energy prices, the EU is at the turning point today in its energy security. We therefore need to objectively consider all available options in the energy portfolio, including sustainable bioenergy.
European policymakers should not shy away from embracing the benefits provided by bioenergy solutions, nor fail to recognise the importance of the sector in our future energy system. Considering all of this, the bioenergy industry:
- Welcomes the recent provisional compromise on the Renewable Energy Directive (REDIII) and the confirmation that bioenergy is 100% renewable. Regulatory certainty is vital for future investments.
- Encourages the EU institutions to include manufacturing of bioenergy technology as a strategic technology in the Net Zero Industry Act (NZIA), since this will send a strong policy message for further investments. It will also ensure that Europe maintains its technological leadership in modern bioenergy solutions, expanding the highly skilled workforce that is already active in the sector.
- Calls on the EU institutions to ensure that both indigenous and imported biomass supply is not arbitrarily constrained beyond existing sustainability considerations.
- Calls on the EU institutions to create clear policy environment for further mobilisation of new sustainable biomasses from currently unexploited sources and call to ensure that negative emissions policy framework builds incentives.
Jean-Marc Jossart, Bioenergy Europe’s Secretary General, said that “Europe can already provide the bioenergy technologies that will be crucial to solving our energy and climate challenge. Policymakers should take advantage of such an asset – as shown by the high number of signatories of this manifesto – and fully utilise bioenergy in substituting fossil fuels and even removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”
The manifesto was presented on 6 June 2023 by a delegation of the bioenergy industry’s CEOs –representing Lhoist, ONF Energie, Palazzetti, Syncraft, Turboden, Valmet and Windhager – in a meeting with Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton. The call for signatories will remain open throughout this summer.