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Renewable Energy Directive Review – Biomass Sustainability

The proposal includes important changes to the criteria including a lower exemption threshold (above 5MW); establishment of NO-GO areas with the extension of existing land criteria for agricultural biomass also to forest biomass (including primary, highly biodiverse forests and peatlands). Furthermore, new elements have been added to Article 29(6) to minimise the negative impact of harvesting on soil quality and biodiversity inspired by the JRC report on woody biomass for energy. Article 29(10) REDII is amended applying the existing greenhouse gas saving thresholds for electricity, heating and cooling production from biomass fuels retroactively to existing installations: 70% until end of 2025 and 80% from beginning of 2026 (not only new installations). The way biomass support is granted is also addressed by the proposal: Beginning in 2027, support will no longer be allowed for biomass-power only electricity generation unless the plant produces electricity with BIO-CSS or it is located in a region with a European Commission approved just transition plan. Specific feedstock categories are also excluded from support (saw logs, veneer logs, stumps and roots). Finally, the Commission proposes to draft a Delegated Act on how to apply the cascading principle for biomass. The Secretariat has drafted the REDIII Policy Brief to summarise the main changes. The public consultation is open until midnight (Brussels time) 10 September. Bioenergy Europe will submit a reply and encourages members to submit individual replies. For more information, please contact Giulia Cancian.