Criteria for the Use of Solid Biomass and Biogas
Renewable Energy Directive [2009/28/EC] sets
up sustainability criteria for biofuels
and bioliquids (see more here).
In addtion the directive mandates the
European Commission to consider requirements for a sustainability
scheme for biomass other than biofuels and bioliquids.
On 25 February 2010, the European Commission (EC) published
a report on sustainability requirements for the use of solid
biomass and biogas in electricity, heating and cooling (here).
The report makes recommendations on sustainability criteria to be
used by those
Member States that wish
to introduce a scheme at national level. It constitutes a guide for
European countries that will make it easier to trade within the EU
The recommended criteria relate to:
- a general prohibition on the use of biomass from land converted
from forest, other high carbon stock areas and highly biodiverse
- a common greenhouse gas calculation methodology which could be
used to ensure that minimum greenhouse gas savings from biomass
are at least
35% (rising to 50% in 2017 and 60% in 2018 for new installations)
compared to the EU's fossil energy mix;
- the differentiation of national support schemes in favour of
installations that achieve high energy conversion efficiencies;
- monitoring of the origin of biomass.
It is also recommended not to apply sustainability criteria to
wastes, as these must already fulfill environmental rules in
waste legislation at national and at European level, and that
the sustainability requirements should apply to larger
of 1 MW thermal
or 1MW electrical capacity or above.
The report is accompanied by a impact assessment that shows that
binding targets would be costly for the EU, regarding that more
than 90% of
biomass consumed by the EU comes from European forest residues
and by-products of other industries.
On 30 June 2010, UN Economic Comission for Europe (UNECE), FAO,
the European Forest Institute (EFI) and other european institutions
a report that shows the real portential for changes in growth
and use of EU forests.
It states that biomass can significantly reduce greenhouse gas
emissions but it changes depending on the cultivation and production
For the implementation of the RES Directive 2009/28/EC,
the European Member States submitted their National
Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAP) and implemented it at the end of 2010.
Following the submission of these plans and analysis of emerging national
schemes, the Commission will consider whether additional measures such
as common sustainability criteria at EU level would be appropriate.
According to the projections of the NREAP, solid biomass is expected
to contribute a 12,7% to the total of renewable energy for electricity,
and biogas 5,3%. Regarding to total renewable energy (includes electricity,
heating and cooling and transport), the share of solid biomass is 5,4%
and the share of biogas 2,2%.
The Report by the
Energy Centre of Netherlands that summarizes the projections of
the NREAP is available here
(RE projections for all the countries
in p.22-27; biomass projections : for electricity p.143-152, for heating
Read the National
Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAP) here.
In July 2014, The Commission published a report on the criterias for the use of solid and gaseous biomass.This report established on behalf of the European Parliament for the 2030 Climate and Energy Framework aims to propose specific criterias to ensure they respect sustainable requirement taking into account the emission of greenhouse gas emission.
Find out more information
in the European