The COVID19 pandemic had a significant impact on the energy sector worldwide. Bioenergy sector was no exception, and the WBA survey showed a majority of respondents indicating a moderate to severe impact of the pandemic on their business including drop in production, revenues etc. During the difficult times, World Bioenergy Association has been able to effectively execute our work plan during 2020. Following is a summary of activities in 2020:
- The first publication of the year 2020 was the Annual Report published in early April.
- Based on the survey on COVID 19 among industry stakeholders, WBA published our position paper on COVID19 – Impacts and outlook for the bioenergy sector
- A new factsheet on the status of liquid biofuels for transport sector was published
- WBA flagship publication – Global Bioenergy Statistics 2020 – was published as well
- IRENA GA 2020 was organized in January in Abu Dhabi. As an observer to IRENA and a member of the Coalition for Action, WBA participated in various meetings and held discussions with policy makers, businesses and civil society at the session.
- In preparation of the G20 summit a workshop took place in March in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Circular Carbon Economy. WBA represented by Christian Rakos gave a presentation of the role of Bioenergy in this context.
- Our event together with the World Biogas Association to be held in Rabat, Morocco in March was cancelled due to the pandemic situation.
- The WBA Annual Meetings – the annual gathering of WBA members – was supposed to be organized in Vienna, Austria. Due to the worsening of the pandemic situation and travel restrictions, it was instead organized as a virtual event. A new board was elected and Christian Rakos replaced Remigijus Lapinsksas as President of the WBA.
- A webinar was organized in November to present a special report on “The risks of regulatory intervention in bioenergy feedstock markets” that is related to the current discussion on the framework conditions for bioenergy use in the EU.
- To explore the latest developments in the agricultural residues sector, WBA initiated a webinar series with the first webinar focussing on technology for conversion.
- To understand the impact of the pandemic and subsequent response required from policy makers, WBA initiated a survey on COVID19 impacts and outlook for bioenergy.
- A new e video series featuring presentations from WBA board members was initiated and the videos are featured on the website and the YouTube channel.
- WBA continued our cooperation with IRENA with our participation at the Coalition for Action. Together with other members, a Call to Action in Response to COVID 19 was published
- As part of REN Alliance, WBA along with ISES, WWEA, IHA and IGA, organized a webinar on impact of the pandemic on the renewable sector with external speakers from REN21, IRENA and IEA.
- In the year, WBA also joined the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition as a partner.
- Australia Renewable Energy Agency published a call for consultations on developing a National Bioenergy Roadmap for which WBA submitted our response.