Bioenergy Sustainability Review: Untie Our Feet so We can Run a Good Race

Biomass that is sourced sustainably and its efficient use in energy applications is a key part of delivering on the set decarbonization goals.

The European Union has gone a step further and developed a policy to mitigate any risks that may be associated with biodiversity. This in addition to other workable policies will lead to clearer energy resolutions.

There are five opportunities propped in the review of bioenergy sustainability policy:

Finding the most effective way to protect environments rich in carbon.

There is a proposal that has been developed for agricultural land use, leaving out forests. It is important to note that this is not the best model because forest cover is at risk.

It is essential that member states are empowered so that they develop their legislation on how to protect the environment and operate their bioenergy market.

Keeping forests as a member state competence

It is imperative that the specifics of regulating sustainable forest management practices be placed in the hands of the member states. They can then decide to trickle down this role to the regional or even local authorities so that direct efforts can be applied.

It is important to note the importance of minimizing the impact that is being faced by biodiversity. Regulations that work for all types of forests need to be proposed.

Preventing undue raw materials distortion with guidance from the states

Markets should not be burdened with excessive regulations. Instead, there should be flexibility for markets in adapting to the local conditions stipulated by the various states. In this regard, guidance is a good policy tool to influence the market.

Enforcing requirements that are proportional to the administrative capacity of the operators

To certify the sustainability of a large portion of biomass, it is advisable to lower the exemption threshold so that it covers smaller biomass plants. It will also help to avoid undue regulations and compliance costs that are inappropriate for the small market actors.

Facilitating sustainable growth of bioenergy through strong regulatory certainty

To help achieve a transition to renewable energy, the European Union needs sustainability in the growth of bioenergy going forward. Some of the things that will facilitate such an agenda include workable and clear definitions, adequate time, and the adoption of a risk-based approach.

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