This session will present recent research and case studies outlining good practices and policy lessons supporting sustainable bioenergy and renewable biogas across EU Member States, with interactive discussion by leading stakeholders and observers of the field.
Bioenergy and renewable gas remain important renewable energy sources and are projected to grow steadily in the coming years as part of efforts to achieve the EU’s climate and energy goals. In 2015, 64% of total primary energy production of renewable energy in the EU-28 was generated from biomass, and many 2030 National Energy and Climate Plans indicate an ambition to increase usage. Analysis of Member States’ use of biomass for energy based on National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) shows an anticipated doubling of biomass use for energy, from 5.4% of final energy consumption in 2005 to almost 12% in 2020 driven primarily by the Renewable Energy Directive.
Bioenergy, including biofuels and renewable gas, have the potential to be an important part of sustainable development in Europe and beyond, but policy must be carefully formulated and implemented to ensure that unintended consequences do not negate these potential benefits, especially as usage scales up. Potential problems could arise with regard to biodiversity, soil quality, ensuring the climate benefits of bioenergy, social sustainability, indirect land use change and food security, among others. At the same time, industry needs clear rules and certainty in order to invest in the technology that could provide major environmental and economic benefits in future.