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Industry News


European Parliament AGRI Committee adopts balanced report on the EU Forest Strategy


R


ecently, the European Parliament Agriculture and Rural Development Committee adopted MEP


Petri Sarvamaa’s (EPP/FI) own initiative report on the European Forest Strategy. The Confederation of European


Paper Industries (Cepi) welcomes the adopted report and encourages the European Parliament to adopt it in plenary session in October. The report manages to strike a balance between the many expectations that policymakers have about the role of forests and forest management for society as a whole. Forest resources offer multiple ecosystem-services, including e.g. wood, clean water and water, healthy soil and biodiversity. In view of the upcoming Forest


Strategy revamp, Cepi encourages the


European Commission to boost the viability of the entire forest-based industrial ecosystem and especially to take into account the holistic climate benefits that the ecosystem provides, namely by substituting fossil-based materials and energy. The European Commission should acknowledge the climate benefits brought by forests and forest-based products and the need to foster environmental, economic and social aspects of forests and forest management. “We hope to see many elements


from business ecosystems in the future Forest Strategy in order to tap into the entire potential of European forests. Discussion and debate around forestry is a crucial step, but the overall benefits can be achieved by well-functioning and vibrant value chains supported by sustainable active


forest management,” commented Jori Ringman, Director General of Cepi. In addition, Cepi calls for the new


Forest Strategy to be an independent, self-standing guiding tool for all forest- related policies in the EU. Industry needs predictability as it comes to current and future policies that have an impact on forest resources. “Further development of a non-end-use specific sustainability approach should be a key element in the EU’s new Forest Strategy. In most cases, forests management aims at producing high quality timber and pulpwood and residues come as a side product along the way. All forest- based products tap into these diverse sources. Therefore, there should be one sustainability approach embedded in different EU policies where needed. In a few years, we will have one


Predicted success for Renewable Energy Support Scheme in Ireland


Ireland’s renewable auction sees cost reduction and favourable mechanism to support country achieve decade-end target, says GloblaData


The first Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS-1) round of Ireland’s first green energy auction provided a stage for the rapid deployment of onshore wind and solar projects. GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, predicts that the scheme will be pivotal to Ireland’s contribution towards the EU-wide renewable energy target of 32% of overall generation by 2030 and to the 7% per annum decline in overall greenhouse gas emissions from 2021 to 2030. Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst


at GlobalData, comments: “Ireland encompasses a target of generating 70% of its electricity from renewables by 2030, which is presently around 40% as per GlobalData estimates. The RESS scheme is anticipated to provide a platform under which the 2030 target might just be realised if not surpassed.


8 Forest Bioenergy Review Autumn 2020


offshore wind segment and achieving grid parity has the potential to further drive down the cost of renewable energy in the country. Das added: “The auction is the first


“The weighted average price


achieved in the auction was over 7% lower than last year’s Renewable Energy Feed-in-Tariff (REFiT) scheme’s wind generation price. The domino effect of the declining prices in RESS auctions will likely push down the overall wholesale electricity cost. Spikes and declines in price, driven by renewables, are anticipated to make the electricity market


uncertain and volatile. To secure themselves from this uncertain volatility, market stakeholders are likely to maintain some cost margin in order to safe guard themselves from price variations , created by lower- cost renewable energy. This way, the lower cost benefits of renewables might not immediately be noticed by customers.” Rising competition from the


in a series of five auctions that will take place until 2030 as part of the Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS). GlobalData tracked more than 14GW offshore wind in early and progressed stages of development in Ireland that are likely to enter ensuing auctions. The inclusion of offshore wind along with solar PV and onshore wind is predicted to make the reverse bidding even more competitive. This additional competition will likely push the price of renewable energy further down. “Businesses looking to take a cost


advantage from lower renewable energy pricing would want to make the most of the scenario and review their energy procurement strategies.”


set of sustainability criteria for the financial and another set of criteria for the energy sector. This type of dual approach should not continue in the future. Forests are being managed irrespectively of their end use and this should be reflected by climate, energy, agriculture and other policies where the EU and the Member States hold shared competence,” Ringman continued. More than 90% of the wood


sourced by the European pulp and paper industry is sourced from European sustainably-managed forests and 74% of the forests sources are PEFC or FSC certified. Thanks to demand for wood, it is possible to make long-term investments in forest management and improve health and resilience of these resources for future generations.


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