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CT4 - 2nd Plenary Meeting in Zagreb

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Highlights Core Theme 4: Biomass Mobilisation and Sustainability

Headline 1: Bioenergy Policies in the Various Member States

The first session focused on policies to be implemented in the Member States due to the increased use of solid biomass and biogas. Denmark presented policy developments for the use of sustainable solid biomass for heat and electricity as a basis for discussion. Participants discussed the benefits of the increased import and export flows of solid biomass inside Europe to reaching the 2020 RES targets. For large-scale application, concerns about the sustainable production of the biomass appear to be the main bottleneck even in countries with a large biomass use tradition. Participants discussed whether sustainability schemes could help Member States overcome this problem and build an internal European market for solid biomass trade. For the small-scale (residential) heating sector, air quality issues will probably reduce the use of biomass in several Member States.

Headline 2: Methods to Improve Mobilisation of Domestic Biomass

Many countries have developed strategies and instruments in order to stimulate the availability of domestic biomass feedstocks and the use of these resources for bioenergy purposes. However, a good matching between domestic bioenergy policies and markets is still challenging. A representative from the H2020 Bioenergy4Business project (, which looked at business opportunities for heating with local available bioenergy sources, presented selected case studies defining the most promising market segments for a fuel switch from fossil fuels to bioenergy. Municipalities located in areas near the forest and far away from gas infrastructure   and other energy sources hold potential for a fuel switch to solid biomass. CT4 participants discussed whether these examples could be replicated in other Member States. The discussions showed that promising market segments for biomass heating are mainly driven by local biomass suppliers and need adapted financial instruments to expand given that investors primarily face CAPEX barriers, rather than OPEX barriers. For biogas, a vivid discussion shows local solutions are manifold depending on a variety of policy and physical parameters. This appears to be a good topic for a next workshop.

Headline 3: Flexibility Potential of Bioenergy on the Energy Markets       

Unlike variable renewable energy (solar, wind, etc.), “dispatchable” renewable energy such as bioenergy can play a central role in balancing current and future energy systems. However, a recent study[1] published by IEA Bioenergy (Task41) showed that very little attention has been paid to the role of bioenergy as an effective management and storage option. During the session, the level of flexibility currently provided by bioenergy systems in MS was discussed and compared in order to identify regional differences and existing barriers. Participants came to the conclusion that for most Member States, flexibility is not an issue that is given much consideration today, but that it will gain more importance after 2020. Indeed, since the development of the required infrastructure has to start in the near future, it is important to address this topic now when many countries are considering new capacities and infrastructure needs. A joint workshop with CT 1 could be a good option to proceed.