Transitioning to renewables: What role for biomass?

Wind, solar, hydro, biomass and geothermal are all potential renewable energy sources that can replace fossil fuels which are blamed for warming the planet.

The use of biomass is currently regulated by the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive, which is currently being reviewed, in line with the EU’s 2030 targets for clean energy and climate change.

EU Institutions will hold trilogues in early 2018, after the European Parliament vote that took place in January. The outcome of these discussions will define the European future of biomass (including forest waste and residues), which accounts for about two-thirds of all renewable energy consumption in the EU.

However, there are some concerns as to the Commission’s proposal. Member States are at different stages of the transition to renewables for reasons related to their energy “history”. The transition from fossil fuels to renewables is a lengthy process. Regarding biomass, the type and share of bioenergy usage can vary greatly within the EU. Following best practice and lessons learnt is therefore indispensable.

EURACTIV organised this workshop to discuss the future of biomass in the EU.

Questions included:

– How can biomass facilitate transitioning from coal to renewables in coal-intensive countries (e.g. Poland)? How can policy improve the process?

– What are the best practices that could be adopted by the transitioning markets?

– How can biomass contribute to decarbonisation? What innovations can help biomass be produced in a more sustainable way?

– What obstacles is the EU facing to make a smooth transition to renewable energy? How can the different uses of biomass make a difference?


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