Key Committee Boosts Biomass Before Fall EU Parliament Vote

Working on the EU’s upcoming Renewable Energy Directive III (REDIII) that will update the Union’s renewable energy policies, the EU Parliament’s Industry Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee recently voted to not only uphold policies that treat wood pellets as carbon neutral, but also expand the use of wood pellets as a coal substitute. The move pushed back against a May 2022 vote by the EU Environmental Committee that called for stricter limits on “primary biomass” (trees), although an ITRE spokesman says the group still has issues with definitions of primary and secondary biomass. The full European Parliament will take up the Renewable Energy Directive in September and consider REDIII revisions from both the ENVI and ITRE committees.

Officials with top pellet producer Enviva applauded the vote, which was supported federal and state officials as well as industry groups. Pellet mills have become key timber markets for Southern U.S. landowners. According to an Enviva statement, “We are encouraged by today’s vote of the EU ITRE Committee, in particular their decision to expand the scenarios under which power-only plants using forest biomass can continue to receive support.”

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