RED II adoption and SET-Plan implementation are big steps forward for the deployment of sustainable bioenergy, a fundamental tool to mitigate climate change. Time to act is now.
12 December 2018 – Brussels
On December the 4th the EU Council of Ministers adopted the RED II which sets a headline target of 32% energy from renewable sources at EU level for 2030, and a target of at least 14% of energy from renewable sources in transport.
The achievement of a political agreement of the RED II is an important step forward for the European Biofuels and Bioenergy Industry and it is now time to get to action. According to IPCC a rapid and far reaching transition to a sustainable energy supply is immediately needed to mitigate global warming, we cannot afford to wait any longer and in order to meet the climate challenge several solutions will need to co-exist and grow. Bioenergy and biofuels have a key role to play in meeting the 1.5°C target of the Paris Agreement. As IEA stated in its recent Renewables 2018 report, in 2017 half of all renewable energy consumed in the world came from modern bioenergy. It will continue to lead the growth in renewable energy consumption in the next years and still “has a huge untapped potential” There is a significant amount of sustainable biomass available that can be used in the next decade and beyond.
The bioenergy sector offers several technological solutions which can be implemented already today or in a short-term perspective, although further research and development is needed to optimize the efficiency and to reduce the production costs of some of those solutions. The Implementation Plan for SET Plan Action 8 Bioenergy and Renewable Fuels details the European research and innovation activities required until 2030, to reach the strategic targets for this sector. The estimated investment volume, to be provided by stakeholders, Member States and European Commission, amounts to 107 billion €.
ETIP Bioenergy has adopted an update of the Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda of 2016, whose aim is to present the most significant recent developments relevant for bioenergy and biofuels and to highlight the corresponding priorities in research, development and demonstration activities.
Given the urgency of climate change, ETIP Bioenergy calls for a prompt and joint action in accelerating research, innovation, demonstration and investments. With a level playing field, strong policy support, as well as sound sustainability criteria, bioenergy and biofuels can contribute significantly towards limiting the effects of climate change, while creating opportunities for new jobs and green growth.
Main observations and recommendations in the updated SRIA
- As highlighted in the 2016 SRIA, the winning options will be the bioenergy pathways best addressing combined strategic and sustainability targets: environmental performances, security and diversification of energy supply, economic competitiveness and public awareness.
- With the RED II approval, currently commercially deployed feedstocks and conversion technologies have a reduced contribution to the EU 2030 targets. It is necessary to enlarge the feedstock basis into non-food resources and enhance conversion efficiency
- Ensure a coherent national implementation of the EU biofuel legislation.
- Relevant, transparent and science-based data and tools for practical implementation of sustainability requirements in the legislation and market place should be further developed
- Support resource efficient supply following a system approach (including legal and financial mechanisms and measures)
- The key priorities for commercial biofuel technologies are to improve environmental (GHG, energy balance, water, inputs) and economic performance and bring flexibility as integrated biorefinery
- Conversion technologies targeting fuels for heavy duty road, air, and marine transport deserve priority attention because of lack of low fossil carbon alternatives and their increasing demand
- Work to ensure a fair appreciation of CO2 emissions (well-to-wheel approach) such that vehicles running on partly or fully on renewable fuels and electric vehicles are treated using equal criteria.
- The SET Plan Action 8 Implementation Plan with suggested activities worth more than 100 billion € needs to be executed by stakeholders, Member States and EU.
About ETIP Bioenergy
The European Technology and Innovation Platform Bioenergy is an industry-led stakeholder platform that brings together relevant actors from academia, industry, and civil society, engaged in the development of sustainable bioenergy and competitive biofuel technologies. One major task of ETIP Bioenergy is to address the technical and economic barriers to the further development and accelerated commercial deployment of bioenergy technologies for the widespread sustainable exploitation of biomass resources. As an industry-led stakeholder forum, the ETIP Bioenergy has the role to represent the unbiased, united, and consolidated view of the biofuels and bioenergy industry in Europe.