December 31, 2006
There is an urgent need
for increased actions for biomass to reach energy and climate targets,
thus it is time to introduce sustainability
criteria in the use of biomass, in particular biofuels. This is
why INFORSE-Europe welcomed the EU Biomass Action Plan and the following
Action Plan, as well as their ongoing implementation. INFORSE-Europe
also proposes Criteria for Sustainable Use of Biomass.
Biomass and Other Renewables for Heating
We strongly urge the EU to continue work on a directive for renewable
energy for heating and cooling as part of a strategy
use. As part of the directive we propose:
for 2010 coherent with national climate targets and the overall EU-15
target of 12% renewable
energy in primary
targets for 2020 adding up to and EU-25 target of 25% of demand for heating and
cooling. National targets for 2015 should be set
in line with the 2020 targets.
Introduce a progressive labelling system for energy efficiency and
air pollution of biomass heating equipment.
Set progressive standards for energy efficiency and air pollution for
biomass heating equipment on the market. The standards should be
strengthened every 5 years. Countries with high use of biomass should be allowed
to introduce higher standards to avoid local air pollution problems
in areas with large biomass combustion.
Regular inspection of air pollution as part of mandatory safety checks
of boilers and ovens with visual inspection of chimney.
Consumer information systems in all countries, informing about clean
and efficient use of biomass for heating.
of solar heating when it is cost-effective in new buildings and when buildings
are renovated with replacement of roof and/or
Request to designers about considering passive heating and cooling
in building designs.
Request of renewable heat preference over fossil fuel based heating,
including gas distributed in networks and district heating primarily
fuelled with fossil fuels.
Request of renewable-based heat and gas to enjoy the same right to
feed into gas and heat networks that renewable electricity do.
Support schemes for renewable heat should be limited to heat production
where inputs of fossil energy and electricity are less than 20%
of the heat produced combined, similar to the fossil energy used to
provide fossil energy to end-users.
Support schemes for biomass should be limited to biomass that is produced
in sustainable ways, following criteria for the sustainable use
In addition to the directive, INFORSE-Europe has suggested a set of
criteria to support renewable energy heating:
1. Support for R&D in biomass for
heating to develop cleaner, more flexible, more user friendly and
more efficient equipment.
2. Support for R&D in renewable cooling to make it ready for
3. Support for R&D in renewable CHP, in particular, small-scale.
4. Support for demonstration of new, efficient and clean solutions
for renewable heating and cooling.
5. Campaign for new technology in renewable heating and cooling.
6. Priority for renewable heating in structural funds.
7. Priority of renewable heat in national and EU lending schemes.
8. Establishment of funds for loans to renewable heating, based on
EiB loans and structures with minimal added interests.
9. Introduction of state guarantees for establishment, conversion and
expansion of district heating and district cooling systems based on
10. All tax preferences for fossil fuels over renewable energy and
district heating must be ended, such as lower VAT on fossil fuels.
Biomass for Electricity
We also welcome the emphasis on increased biomass use for electricity
as part of meeting the target of 22% renewable electricity by 2010.
Crucial to this is that the countries and the EU Commission should
do an increased effort to achieve the targets for renewable electricity.
In addition to provisions in the RES-E directive is proposed:
The countries should introduce
support mechanisms that are sufficient to meet targets.
The Commission should work for the use of EU-wide support mechanisms
including agricultural support and availability of structural funds
for biomass production.
A special priority should be on efficient and biomass-based cogeneration.
National targets for 2015 and 2020 should be set in line with increase
of renewable energy supply to reach 25% of primary energy supply
in 2020 for the EU-25.
should emphasize the development of smaller units for efficient biomass-based
CHP as well as the increased conversion efficiency
from biomass to electricity.
Biomass and Other Renewable Energy for Transport
INFORSE-Europe welcomes the emphasis on biofuels including the special
concern by the Commission on sustainable production of biofuels. We
believe that the future of biofuels in transport is closely linked
with the environmental sustainability of the production and that support
systems should encourage the development of sustainable biofuels. Therefore
we promote Criteria
for Sustainable use of Biomass. We
That biofuels which do not follow
environmental criteria, such as those proposed by INFORSE-Europe,
are not encouraged
systems and do not count to fulfil renewable energy targets.
That tax reductions are graduated according to climate impact, giving
maximal support for biofuels with climate impacts of less than 20%
of the CO2 that it replaces in fossil fuel use.
That imported biofuels should follow the same criteria that are used
for domestic production, and that energy for the long-distance transport
is included in the evaluation of support levels.
In case of uncertainty with sustainability of imported biofuels, imports
should be stopped. It is specifically proposed to stop import of vegetable
oils for biodiesel because of the risk of increasing deforestation
and clearing of rainforest to give way for oil plantations.
Use of biofuels should not be used as an instrument to meet the climate
target of 120g CO2/km for personal cars. It is basically an efficiency
target and it should be achieved via efficiency measures including
the existing voluntary agreements, and if it is insufficient, by mandatory
measures, supplemented by tax incentives for the most efficient vehicles.
A broad approach should be taken to renewable energy in transport,
combining liquid biofuels with biogas for transport and electrically
driven vehicles with the electricity produced from renewable energy.
INFORSE-Europe supports the increased research and development activities
for production of liquid biofuels from solid biomass and wet organic
INFORSE-Europe also supports the emphasis on assisting developing
countries producing biofuels for transport. This production should
also be sustainable, and emphasis should be put on making an increasing
number of self-sufficient countries in transport energy supply.
In several countries there is still need for market development. It
is proposed that the countries make biomass action plans to support
the market development to ensure availability of a minimum range of
biomass products that are produced in sustainable ways according the
agreed criteria. This should include, e.g.:
-Wood pellets and wood chips, except in countries without heat demand.
-Vegetable oil, biodiesel, and bio-ethanol.
Regarding agricultural policies, it is proposed that support for biomass
crops on farmland should be similar to food crops support. The support
should be on the condition that sustainability criteria are fulfilled.
The support for energy crops should in general not be graduated according
to the kind of crops grown, but according to the environmental impacts
including on energy inputs in the production.
Regarding structural funds, it is proposed that priority is given
for funding of renewable energy and energy efficiency infrastructure
including funding for accompanying infrastructure such as for district
heating systems supplied with renewable energy.
There is a large potential to use certain types of waste for energy;
but there is certainly also large risk if waste is not treated properly.
To increase sustainable use of waste fractions for energy is proposed:
-Use of clean fractions of wood and agricultural waste for energy.
-Increased emphasis on sorting wood residues from untreated wood into
-Increased emphasis on sorting of wet organic waste in fractions that
are not contaminated with heavy metals or POPs, for use in biogas plants.
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