2023 EU Bioenergy Days campaign is on!

The EU Bioenergy Days launched on 1 August, but we are still open for contributions to the upcoming Member States! This year, we are collecting success stories under the theme “Getting rid of fossil fuels” to feature the diverse use of bioenergy at an individual, residential, local, or national level. We need you to share stories on the significance of our sector for energy security and independence from fossil fuels. Please send your success story (text around 500 words + pictures; optional: video material, factsheets, etc.) to Clara Puig De Torres-Solanot

No majority for Nature Restoration

against in the ENVI committee – meaning that there was no majority in favour of the text. Having failed to adopt a report, the ENVI Committee will table a motion to reject the Commission proposal. It is very uncertain if the law will survive the plenary vote (likely scheduled for 11-13 July). For more information, please contact Daniel Reinemann.

Science Based Targets Initiative Consultation

The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) has launched a new public consultation for their upcoming Beyond Value Chain Mitigation guidance. This guidance will focus on “action to mitigate emissions outside company value chains, such as purchasing high-quality, jurisdictional REDD+ credits or investing in direct air capture”. The public consultation includes a survey and is open until 30 July.

Next Steps for EMD

The Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee published its Draft Report on the Proposal for a regulation to improve the Union’s electricity market design. According to the publicly available agenda, amendments to the Proposal to reform the Electricity Market Design rules (EMD) can be tabled until 7 July. The vote will be held on 19 July in the ITRE Committee, and on 11 September in Plenary. The latter will then launch the trilogue phase. For more information, please contact Ennio Prizzi.  

Delays in the Approval Process of REDIII

Our Weekly News last week specified an expected vote in the Council Preparatory body, COREPER, scheduled for 17 May and an ITRE Committee vote in the European Parliament for 23 May. However, both of these votes were cancelled last minute due to concerns surrounding the rules for the treatment of hydrogen as produced from nuclear energy. At present, this does not appear to threaten the deal on bioenergy or the overall agreement. For more information, please contact Daniel Reinemann.

Slow Progress on Energy Taxation Directive

On 11 May, a working group of EU countries met to discuss the minimum tax rates that should be enshrined in the new ETD, the first meeting of its kind since the reform was launched almost two years ago. Establishing a consensus on minimum tax rates is proving difficult. The Swedes, who hold the EU’s rotating presidency until July, have no real hope of finding an agreement on the ETD during their six-month stint. Hence, the file will be handed over to the Spanish presidency. Spain declined to comment on the record. But their successor, Belgium, expects having to deal with ETD negotiations in 2024.

2023 EU Bioenergy Days Launching Soon

This year, all success stories will be grouped under the theme of “Getting rid of fossil fuels”. We want to feature the diverse use of bioenergy at an individual, residential, local or national level – and promote stories that show the significance of our sector, especially when thinking about energy security and independence from Russian gas and fossil fuels in general. Your contribution is key to making this campaign a success! We invite Members who haven’t already done so to share a success story from their particular countries (text around 500 words + pictures; optional: video material, factsheets, etc.) to Diana Nicolaescu

RED Agreement Reached by EU Legislators

Bioenergy Europe welcomes the outcome of the trilogue negotiations on the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) in reaching the EU’s climate goals. However, we regret the overcomplication of certain provisions which risks hindering the EU decarbonisation process and destabilising market actors.

Yesterday, EU legislators agreed on the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive, including provisions specific to the bioenergy sector. We applaud EU negotiators who avoided controversial approaches that would have jeopardised a large part of the sustainable biomass supply. The new overall binding target of 42,5% renewables by 2030 with an additional 2,5% indicative top up shows a strong ambition to reach 45% of renewables in the EU energy mix.

“The outcome of the negotiations shows that an emotionally driven debate, which was not based on facts, had no chance against the common sense, holistic and evidence-based approach which policymakers have decided to trust” says Bioenergy Europe’s Secretary General Jean-Marc Jossart.

However, we regret to see that local conditions were not duly considered when determining if support can be provided for biopower installations and certain feedstocks, as well as the fact that the threshold for the sustainability criteria has been lowered to 7,5MW. The overcomplication of certain provisions will result in an additional burden especially for smaller operators. The agreement rejected the conceptually flawed definition of primary woody biomass and introduced new provisions to ensure an economically and environmentally sound use of high-quality wood. The risk remains that it will still be business as usual by using fossil fuels. Bioenergy is by far the most important renewable solution that substitutes fossil fuels in the heating and transport sectors.

“We can only achieve our collective climate goals by agreeing that fossil fuels have no future and need to be phased out” added Christoph Pfemeter, President of Bioenergy Europe. “In their place, all renewable and sustainable solutions need to receive the required support to be further deployed across the EU as fast as possible.”

The outcome of the negotiations is welcomed by bioenergy stakeholders, as it reaffirms trust in bioenergy and guarantees stability for the sector overall. We need all available renewable solutions to ensure that the EU net-zero target can be achieved by 2050 – the recognition that bioenergy remains 100% renewable is a key step forward in that direction.

Read the full press release