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Biomass Initiative 2005-2006

Update: July 2006

Index of this Page:

· Energy Ministers Promote Biomass, July 2006. Read

· EU Biomass Action Plan, December 2005. Read

Energy Ministers Promote Biomass
At the EU energy ministers’ meeting June 8-9, 2006, the ministers agreed a number of proposals for increased and better use of biomass energy. Most importantly they asked the EU Commission to:
Bring forward proposals to encourage use of biomass for heating and cooling. This follows a similar call from the European Parliament earlier this year,
Establish efficiency and emission criteria for biomass installations, using the Eco-Design Directive, in particular for household biomass boilers,
Simplify procedures for bio-energies in the EU Common Agricultural Policy and assess the extension of the Energy Crops Scheme to all EU countries,
Explore the issue of simple and cost-effective measures to guarantee that biofuels are produced in a sustainable way, including certification

EU Biomass Action Plan
On December 7, 2005, the EU Commission published its Biomass Action Plan, proposing measures that could more than double biomass use in EU by 2010, while respecting environmental limits. This is the kind of development that is needed to reach the target of 12% renewables by 2010, and most likely also the Kyoto Protocol targets. The main measures proposed are:
• legislation supporting the use of biomass for heating,
• reduced VAT on district heating
• stronger implementation of the renewable electricity directive.
• regulation and removal of barriers for biofuels in transport, including ensuring the environmental sustainability of biofuel production.
• a campaign and other measures for promotion of energy crops as part of EU’s agricultural policy.
• increased use of forest residues
• use more recovered materials from waste as energy, including waste from slaughterhouses and meet processing to biogas plants.
• more use of structural funds for biomass and other renewable energy.
• research and development in biomass for fuels, electricity, heating and cooling
Read INFORSE-Europe's

See INFORSE-Europe Comments for EU Biomass and Biofuels Strategies.
See: EU Commission page on biomass action plan

Update: 16.08.2005

The Communication on “The share of renewable energy in the EU” (COM(2004)366 final) concluded that further efforts, in particular in the biomass sector, are needed in order to achieve the RE policy objectives.

In 2001, total biomass production for energy purposes was 2344 PJ and to reach, and to achieve RES 12% target, 3098 PJ would be needed by 2010 according to the above-mentioned communication.

This additional biomass production can only be achieved in the short term with strong and targeted measures and actions in all three sectors (electricity, heat, and biofuels for transport) and a better coordination of EU policies. Therefore the Commission proposed in the Communication a "Community Biomass Action Plan" that shall ensure the achievement of this objective. The countries' energy minister's supported this, November 2004.

So far, the development of the Biomass Action Plan has been delayed. Up until now, some preparatory meetings have been held (External Expert Group Meeting in January 2005, Interservice Steering Group Meeting in February 2005, and External Stakeholders Group Meeting in March'05).
One conclusion of these meetings was a confirmation of the fact that there is a very large potential for increased use of Biomass. Besides, a consultation was made with a questionnaire on the web.
Further meetings and reports were scheduled for May and June 2005; but the Action Plan is not expected to be ready before the end of 2005.

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