One set of sustainability criteria for all bioenergy, whether in liquid, solid or gaseous form, is necessary to create a predictable and stable regulatory environment that will promote innovation and develop the bioenergy market, two major industrial players have recommended. In doing so the criteria should consider the source of the bioenergy, regardless of its end use or form.
Current EU-level sustainability criteria focus on end use, and apply only to bioliquids, with solid and gaseous bioenergy being regulated by a range of national and voluntary standards.
In its statement the industry argues that the regime is unpragmatic, both due to its fragmentation and complexity – the same raw material is subjected to different sustainability criteria depending on how it is produced and used.
A more uniformed approach, focused on the biomass source, would provide clarity, as well as certainty, to investors and innovators, thereby speeding the development of new technologies.
Fortum and Valmet, two large energy firms based in Finland, jointly published the recommendations, following shortly after the launch of a bioenergy sustainability consultation by the European Commission earlier this month.
The firms emphasised that all bioenergy use must be environmentally, economically and socially sustainable and only bioenergy that is sustainably produced and used should be classified as renewable energy and taken into account in the fulfilment of renewable energy obligations.