Biomass can be exploited to produce energy in an environmentally sustainable manner. It comes from a variety of sources and can take on many different forms. Unfortunately there remains a great deal of uncertainty regarding estimates of the potential of biomass to power Europe. The EU-funded 'Biomass energy Europe' (BEE) project aims to increase the accuracy and reliability of biomass assessments by establishing a common methodology. The first phase of the project involved reviewing a number of recent biomass studies. Analysis by BEE's multidisciplinary team of experts helped identify best practices applied in different regions and to different types of biomass. This knowledge has subsequently been transformed into two handbooks addressing the topics of methods and data sources respectively. The handbooks are already being put into practice in the context of several BEE illustration cases. The word is also being spread to stakeholder and potential user communities, which range from forestry to agriculture to waste management, through an aggressive information dissemination campaign. Additional exposure is also being gained by collaborating with another relevant EU research project.