Legal and technical frameworks & sustainability of biomass fuels
With growing markets of biomass fuels and an increasing demand all over Europe, it can be expected that trade of biomass and biofuels will increase. The summary report "Biomass fuel trade in Europe” published by EUBIONET II in March 2007 indicates, that the long-term prospect for international trade volume of biomass fuels could be 80 000 to 120 000 PJ (1 900 to 3 500 Mtoe) per year. According to the IEA Task 40, biomass fuel trade in 2006 reached the mark of 1 000 PJ (24 Mtoe). The question has to be asked, what the barriers for increased trade are and how they can be overcome.
EUBIONET III therefore collected information about the different legal and technical frameworks of biomass fuels and approaches to secure sustainability of biomass, biofuels and bioenergy from all EU Member States. EUBIONET III partners assessed and analyzed the data collected carefully in order to draw a complete picture of the European framework landscape. The resulting survey incorporated a comparison between the different national requirements and those introduced at EU level i.e. CEN standards on solid biofuels (CEN TC 335). The intention was to help policy makers to direct national policies towards harmonization with European standards and to raise the awareness level amongst industry market actors that European standards are already available.
With the ongoing discussion about whether or not bioenergy is sustainable, it has become inevitable to introduce a scheme that will secure this. Currently many proposals are made on how sustainability can be secured and what the underling sustainability criteria are in the first place. EUBIONET III collected all approaches that have been proposed over the last years. Special attention was paid to the activities on European level. However, instead of just mixing these together and to propose just another scheme, EUBIONET III partners questioned all stakeholders, especially industry, on what they suppose how sustainability is to be secured. With the collected sustainability proposals at hand and a clear picture of what different stakeholder groups expect, EUBIONET III proposed recommendations for a European sustainability certification that is able to combine most important elements in order to meet the different views and expectations of stakeholders and the market. EUBIONET III helped to make a common European scheme an accepted solution.
Summary reports of actions
Aino Martikainen, FNR (email: a.martikainen(at)fnr.de)