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AGRINERGY — Result In Brief

Project ID: 44437
Funded under: FP6-POLICIES
Country: Germany

Bioenergy impacts on rural life

Bioenergy production is an important source of sustainable energy in Europe. Recent research has analysed its importance in the socioeconomic fabric of rural life.
Bioenergy impacts on rural life
Bioenergy currently represents around two thirds of all sustainable energy forms in Europe. The 'EU bioenergy policies and their effects on rural areas and agriculture policies' (Agrinergy) project analysed the relationship between sustainable energy policies and the development of rural areas with environmental protection firmly in the equation.

Overall, the Agrinergy analysis aimed to identify synergies between rural life and sustainable bioenergy to work out cornerstones for the development of biomass energy production in Europe for the future. Moreover, the study examined if bioenergy production principles could be applied to developing countries.

Agrinergy conducted a survey incorporating the results of a project workshop that covered the links between EU biomass policies, Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), rural area development and environmental protection. Participants were the scientific community, relevant policymakers and interested members of the public. Impact on international trade was also investigated.

Dissemination being a key priority, a website at gives comprehensive information on the project and its objectives, workshops and conferences, research papers and results. Based on the survey, three papers for discussion in working groups were drawn up on biomass, trade policies and sustainability of bioenergy supply.

Biomass production policies as applied in Europe may have devastating effects on the local population in developing countries due to allocation of land to biomass production rather than food. Globally, deforestation may cause a rise in greenhouse gas (GHG) production as well as the displacement of indigenous people.

participants of Agrinergy workshops came to the conclusion that trade in biomass needs to be beneficial, not only for avoiding climate change but for producers and society generally in developing countries. Future policies with regard to biomass production need to promote socioeconomic and environmental objectives.

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