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fter years of discussions, the European Commission has now proposed legislation on sustainability criteria for all bioenergy uses. This represents a major outcome for the entire European renewables industry and for the EU’s climate and energy targets, as bioenergy represents 60% of all European renewable energy consumption.

For Didzis Palejs, the newly-elected President of the European Biomass Association (AEBIOM), “This proposal is an important step for the European bioenergy industry, which has been calling for an EU- harmonised policy over the past years”.

The European Commission’s proposal took a pragmatic approach considering some ground realities faced by many European bioenergy players. Proposing sustainability requirements for installations over 20 Megawatt capacity, endorsing a risk-based approach for forest biomass and allowing the possibility to recognise voluntary schemes are among the crucial aspects considered by the proposal.

The Commission also opted for a rational land-based sustainability approach per type of biomass (biomass from forestry, biomass from agriculture, etc) and not per energy use. “As wood can be used to make biofuels or produce heat and electricity, the Commission’s approach addressing sustainability of forest biomass, whatever its energy end-use, makes sense,” claimed President Palejs. However, AEBIOM regrets that this approach has not been followed for defi ning a single greenhouse gas emission savings for all bioenergy. The Association is also concerned that by giving fl exibility to Member States in defi ning additional sustainability rules, the Commission’s proposal may not set an equal playing fi eld for the whole sector. “I am very concerned that a lack of full harmonisation at EU level could hamper biomass trade and lead to unequal treatment among economic operators,” said Eric Vial, President of the European Pellet Council. AEBIOM has also expressed concerns regarding biopower, noting that the political rationale to make it accountable as part of the EU’s renewable energy target only applies if produced through highly effi cient cogeneration technology. However, this approach ignores the role that biopower could play in backing up variable renewable electricity sources such as wind and solar. It could heighten the risk of opening a backdoor to the introduction of fossil fuels, which would be contrary to EU decarbonisation objectives and commitments.

David Young Editor

FOREST BIOENERGY REVIEW Volume 6, Number 32 - Winter 2016 Contact information



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EVENTS Conferences and exhibitions past and future

Front cover: Valmet’s biomass-fi red boiler plant for HOFOR Energiproduktion A/S will support the climate plan of Copenhagen – see page 6.

Winter 2016 1 1 16 AEBIOM Decarbonising the heating and cooling sector

A visit to Valmet in Finland STUDY TOUR

Winter warmth from the forest RENEWABLE FUEL

6 8 2 5

In this issue INDUSTRY NEWS

What’s happening in the world of forest bioenergy?



Wanted: tester for forest footwear HAIX


Turning biofuel waste into wealth EQUIPMENT REVIEW

Introducing new equipment and services 12 13 14


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