PR: BIOENERGY EUROPE’S WISHES FOR THE NEW COMMISSION
Brussels, 12 September 2019 - Bioenergy in Europe: readily available, essential part of any pragmatic decarbonisation strategy and, hopefully, cornerstone of the climate strategy that Ursula von der Leyen’s brand new cabinet will soon be working on. We at Bioenergy Europe, leading trade association for the European bioenergy industry, welcome the Commissioners-designated and have a few wishes to make.
We wish for higher GHG emissions reduction targets. Increasing the target from 40% to 55%, clear milestones and an upwards review of the renewable target are all sensible steps to take as Europe eyes the title of first carbon-neutral continent by 2050.
We wish for a holistic carbon price. Carbon emissions must have a price: even the President-Elect’s Political Guidelines 2019-2024 made it clear. The Energy Taxation Directive should be reviewed to deliver on climate objectives and spark a transition to clean fuels and improved energy efficiency. Did we mention all subsidies to fossil fuels must be halted?
We wish for a greater role of biomass in the circular economy. By 2050, there will be 406 Mtoe of sustainable biomass available, including residues from forestry, agriculture, industry and organic waste. That’s the equivalent of 1,624 fully loaded oil tankers, each one gravid with 2 million barrels. An adequate policy framework will take full advantage of such potential and, as a result, biomass will be transported and used more efficiently, technologies improved, and feedstock grown.
We wish for urgent action in the heating sector. Heating accounts for half of the EU’s energy consumption and it’s largely dependent on fossil fuels. Heating technology installed today has a minimum lifespan of 20 years. A political leadership resolved to achieve carbon-neutrality by 2050 has no choice but to accelerate the replacement of old, polluting technologies with modern, highly efficient renewable ones.
We wish for sound energy security. Our power grid operation is under growing pressure from the increasing integration of variable renewables within it. Bioenergy can work in synergy with other renewables by providing a reliable source of energy and contributing to the security of supply. Biopower’s flexibility must be recognised, rewarded and included in energy cost calculations.
We wish for bioenergy to be recognised as a key decarbonisation agent for industry, transport and buildings. Modern and highly efficient bioenergy technologies are readily available. R&D efforts are progressing to improve efficiency, abate emissions and fulfil new energy needs. The deployment of mature technologies should be politically supported until fair market conditions apply.
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