Background

Sustainability is a core value of bioenergy. At the European level today, sustainability in bioenergy is guaranteed through the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). Bioenergy is the first energy source to have legally binding sustainability criteria, ensuring that all biomass, regardless of origin, being used in the EU for bioenergy, is sustainability produced. This means that soil quality and biodiversity are protected; for woody biomass, it means that forest carbon stocks remain stable or even grow. 

The role of biomass

Bioenergy plays a fundamental role in helping the EU achieve its renewable ambitions. Bioenergy is Europe’s largest source of renewable energy; in 2019, bioenergy provided 57,4% of Europe’s renewable energy which corresponds to 11,4% of the total energy for the EU. Bioenergy plays a key role across the EU and represents at least 30% of the renewable energy in every Member State.  

While the majority of the EU’s energy still comes from non-renewable sources, this varies across the three different energy uses: electricity, transport and heating/cooling. Although electricity is often considered synonymous with energy, it is only 25% of the EU’s energy usage, with a similar share (28%) being used for transport. The majority (47%) of the EU’s energy actually goes toward heating and cooling. While there are many other renewables that make big contributions to renewable electricity generation, there are far fewer options in the renewable heating sector. This is where bioenergy makes the biggest contribution: the decarbonisation of heating. In fact, 85% of all renewable heat is bioheat! 

Our position

EU policies should support the key role played by bioenergy and continue to promote the green transition. Bioenergy can, and should, play an important role in EU decarbonisation, especially in the heating sector. Currently, the EU is in the process of revising RED, which determines the type of biomass that counts as sustainable. We strongly support the sustainable production of biomass and the need for bioenergy to help in the green transition, especially in the heating sector. We argue that the rules must be clear, understandable and they should limit the administrative burden placed on market actors seeking to increase renewable energy production.

 

  • Meet the coordinator

    The Working Group Sustainability is open to all Bioenergy Europe members and coordinated by Daniel Reinemann.

    Contact:
    reinemann@bioenergyeurope.org
    +32 2 319 47 83

  • Meet the chairwoman

    The Working Group Sustainability is chaired by Azadeh Daheshmand, Sustainability and Regulation Counsel at Uniper Benelux legal team based in the Netherlands.

    Azadeh holds an interdisciplinary educational background in European law and Economics from Vienna University and Erasmus University of Rotterdam where policies, laws and regulations, and their economic analysis are a core part of the curriculum.

    Azadeh's genuine passion and interest in sustainability and commitment to the energy transition is a driving force in her work. She has over 5 years of hands-on experience in the energy sector, advising on renewable energy production with expertise on energy laws and regulations including Renewable Energy Directive and EU Emission Trading Directive.

    Her knowledge and experience extend to bioenergy projects, particularly in biomass fuels, biofuels and their sustainability, contributing to Uniper's diverse range of biomass-related projects and ensuring compliance with sustainability and greenhouse gas reduction requirements. she is quite involved in the regulatory developments relevant to the bioenergy. She advises on European Timber Regulation and its revised version European Deforestation Free regulation which ensures the wood fuels entering European market are not associated with illegal harvesting, deforestation, and forest degradation.

    Her main areas of interest are sustainability of woody biomass, and technological developments in using these feedstocks.

    Uniper is an international energy company with the headquarter in Germany Duesseldorf. Active in more than 40 countries, with core markets in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the UK. Uniper has a power generation capacity of roughly 22.5 GW and a gas portfolio of roughly 200 TWh. The corporate strategy is to be carbon-neutral by 2040 at the level of the whole business. Uniper employes roughly 7000 employees.

    Helping its customers decarbonize with tailor-made solutions is one of the key business pillars for Uniper. Bioenergy has a crucial role in realizing this purpose. In addition to electricity-heat production from biomass, there are several projects by Uniper to use biomass feedstocks with more innovative technologies, like production of sustainable aviation fuel, biomethane production, and hydrogen production from sustainable biomass.

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