Bioenergy is set to play an essential role in the European Union’s energy transition. Accounting for 59% of all renewables and 10.3% of all energy consumption across the EU (2018) bioenergy is at the forefront of carbon neutrality and a driving force for achieving climate neutrality.
Europe has amble opportunity to take the lead in the clean energy transition. The provision of a coherent industrial strategy will provide the necessary framework to ensure competitive business the promotes European manufacturing and the technological know-how that will create a stable market.
Bioenergy is a versatile, storable and accessible energy source that can deliver across electricity, heating and transport fuels. Its reliability – and the high temperature and pressure steam provided by combustion – has made bioenergy a viable solution for many EU industrial sectors seeking to green processes. In this way, the bioenergy sector has saved the equivalent of over 300 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
This versatility has set bioenergy up to play key role in the current and future energy mix, ensuring a just and sustainable transition. The Renewable Energy Directive (RED II) provides the basis of the sustainability criteria under which bioenergy has become the only energy source to guarantee sustainability of sourcing, irrespective of the geographical origin of the biomass. When coupled with a robust risk-assessment system, the directive has created a procedure that guarantees market stability and provides the framework for bioenergy’s competitiveness. Europe can be proud of its pioneering policy for biomass sustainability, the equivalent of which cannot be found on any other continent.
Bioenergy is essential for a sustainable energy transition, making a larger contribution to European GDP than all other renewables combined. Supplying over 700,000 direct and indirect jobs across more than 50,000 business, bioenergy provides more than 49% of all jobs in the European RES industry. Combined with an annual turnover of €60.6 million and a net worth of €5 billion, bioenergy is essential for the European bioeconomy. Sustainable economic growth will largely rely on the sector’s ability to provide an inclusive and accessible transition for all European citizens.
The bioenergy sector is not only valuable in its job provision, but as a direct result of its impact on manufacturing and associated services, can supply significant gross value added. A strong European based industry boost EU competitiveness and forges the way for the EU to become a global leader in renewables. Bioenergy has proven its value to the European economy in recent years, following a consistent growth in market share. Accounting for 39% of total RES turnover, 0.39% of EU GDP in 2017 and generating €60.6 billion in annual turnover, the bioenergy industry is set to provide a central pillar to the EU energy transition and European bioeconomy.
By sitting at the forefront of bioenergy technology, Europe has created a thriving innovation ecosystem driving the economic recovery through increased technological investment and creating and abundance of jobs. However, the European Union now finds itself at an imperative turning point on the path towards carbon neutrality. The bioenergy sector is working hard to ensure that the energy transition creates a more prosperous and sustainable future, but it must continue to be supported through the continued provision of a favourable framework rather than counterproductive legislation.
Furthermore, increased investments in technological innovation and digitalization is equally essential in driving the transition and ensuring sectoral competitiveness. Between 1995 – 2017, the bioenergy sector accrued over €1584 million in EU national funding and has been linked to 9713 patents. Both public and private investments must work in synergy to ensure the commercial developments of bioenergy processes and technologies. Research is being carried out across the entire value chain including biomass feedstock, supply system, energy conversion and final product.
In the EU, biomass is coming predominantly from local sources with only 4% of the feedstock supplied by imports, and as such will play an essential role in Europe’s energy independence. Not only is bioenergy the most affordable renewable energy solution – providing an accessible and viable solution to energy poverty – its versatility allows it to contribute to the decarbonisation of several EU sectors. Bioenergy sources are plentiful and under the right conditions, can bring wealth and employment to rural areas, enhancing profit diversification derived from the use of marginal and abandoned lands.
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The first international certification scheme for wood chips and hog fuel. A 12-class scheme addressing every profile of producer and end-user, from industrial to domestic use.Visit the website
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