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Market uptake of existing and emerging sustainable bioenergy

Specific challenge:Actions are still needed to foster the development of the bioenergy sector and to ensure its sustainability (Renewable Energy Progress Report [COM(2013)175]). One way to do it is to use more and sustainable bioenergy. However, the EU needs to expand the supply of bioenergy produced in the EU, by encouraging the EU farmers and foresters to produce also energy and energy intermediaries.

In the short- and medium-term perspective, sustainable bioenergy in all its forms is expected to be the main contributor to the de-carbonisation. In order to achieve the EU targets set out in the RES and Fuel Quality Directives, and to address concerns regarding indirect and direct environmental impacts, sustainable bioenergy technologies (both existing and emerging) need to further penetrate the market.

Scope: Proposals should address one or several of the following bullet points using technologies and systems which are already at TRL 7-9 (please see part G of the General Annexes):

  • Setting up or strengthening sustainable local bioenergy supply chains that meet highest environmental criteria and quality standards, including consideration for indirect impacts and energy balances;
  • Ensuring development and / or implementation of quality and sustainability standards for bioenergy in all its forms;
  • Creating a market for sustainable intermediate bioenergy carriers to enable better technology competitiveness through economies of scale;
  • Encouraging European farmers and foresters to produce non-food bioenergy or bioenergy carriers alongside food, feed and other products.
  • Development of methodologies for the traceability of biomass feedstocks from which bioenergy is produced (e.g. to distinguish first-generation from advanced biofuels);
  • Removing non-technical barriers to widespread production and use of biogas/biomethane from manure and other wastes as one of the most sustainable fuels available today for use in transport and for incorporation into the grid;
  • Ensuring sustained public acceptance of sustainable advanced biofuels;
  • Exchange of information on best practices for bioenergy policy, regulations and support schemes to allow the most sustainable and energy efficient use of bio-resources.
  • Cooperation between different policy areas at national / regional level (e.g. energy, agriculture, environment, waste, transport, etc.) needs to be increased to optimise the regulatory framework and implementing measures for the bioeconomy through exchange of information and best practices;
  • All Member States must possess the necessary capacity to enact the EU legislation, while the businesses must make full use of the opportunities that these new markets create for them. Therefore specific capacity building activities targeting the main stakeholders (e.g. biomass suppliers and users, decision makers, financial institutions, auditors and verification bodies) are needed.
  • Tailored financing schemes for supporting investments in innovative and established bioenergy technologies must be implemented, and the most successful schemes replicated.

Regional specificities, socio-economic and environmental aspects from a life-cycle perspective shall be considered.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 1 to 2 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: Increasing the share of sustainable bioenergy in the final energy consumption. Substantial and measurable reductions in the transaction costs for project developers as well as for the permitting authorities, whilst still fully addressing the needs for environmental impact assessments, including considerations for indirect impacts and energy balance. Development of better policy, market support and financial frameworks, notably at national, regional and local level.

Type of action: Coordination and Support Actions