EU Group Drops Biomass Rules

In a report published the end of February, the European Commission’s energy department has confirmed there will be no EU effort—yet—to develop regulations concerning standards for biomass origin and sustainability, though the issue of “sustainability criteria” would be reviewed in 2011. The issue was hotly debated last year during Commission meetings. The report stated that […]

In a report published the end of February, the European Commission’s energy department has confirmed there will be no EU effort—yet—to develop regulations concerning standards for biomass origin and sustainability, though the issue of “sustainability criteria” would be reviewed in 2011. The issue was hotly debated last year during Commission meetings.

The report stated that EU countries will be free to set up separate national programs to promote biomass without binding standards on the origins of the plant or tree matter. To address environmental concerns, the Commission issued recommendations to member states on what types of biomass to avoid, such as material from cleared tropical forests, and to seek biomass feedstocks that offer maximum greenhouse gas reductions compared to fossil fuels. With an EU target for member states to derive 20% of their energy needs from renewable energy sources by 2020, biomass use in the EU is set to increase. Currently, biomass accounts for 60% of the EU’s renewable energy.

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