Wind, solar, hydro, biomass and geothermal are all potential renewable energy sources that can replace fossil fuels which are blamed for warming the planet. The use of biomass is currently regulated by the 2009 Renewable Energy Directive. The European Commission has proposed in its Winter Package to review the Directive, in line with the EU’s 2030 targets for clean energy and climate change. EU Institutions will hold trilogues in early 2018 with a Parliament vote scheduled for February. The outcome of these discussions will define the European future of biomass (including forest waste and residues), which accounts for about two-thirds of all renewable energy consumption in the EU.
However, there are some concerns as to the Commission’s proposal. Member States are at different stages of the transition to renewables for reasons related to their energy “history”. The transition from fossil fuels to renewables is a lengthy process. Regarding biomass, the type and share of bioenergy usage can vary greatly within the EU. Following best practice and lessons learnt is therefore indispensable.
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