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2014 May 12

WBA Press Release: EU dependency on fossil energy imports workshop

WBA Press Release - EU Fossil Fuels

Download Press Release Here

May 12th, 2014, Brussels, Belgium

How EU can reduce dependency on fossil energy imports with bioenergy. 

WBA (World Bioenergy Association) held a workshop today in Brussels, Belgium on the future potential of bioenergy to reduce European dependency on fossil gas imports. The workshop included speeches from key bioenergy experts who discussed not just the potential but achievable bioenergy contributions to future renewable targets. 

The reason the WBA highlights this is to show the potential of bioenergy in solving issues of security of the energy supply coupled with a responsible climate change mitigation policy that rose to a new level of urgency over the past weeks. ‘The tensions in Ukraine demonstrates the vulnerability of an energy system that depends strongly on gas imports from Russia’, says Douglas Bradley, vice president WBA.

The WBA views Europe as a continent with a well-developed bioenergy industry and a large potential for further growth. In combination with imports of biomass, bioenergy could cover 20% of the final energy demand in Europe by 2030. In combination with the rapid deployment of wind, solar PV and solar heating, RES could then cover 45% of Europe’s final energy demand by 2030. 

The latest reports of the IPCC also made it clear that only a strong reduction in the use of fossil fuels will permit the world to not exceed the 2°C target is this century. Douglas Bradley further added: “An accelerated deployment of renewable energy sources (RES) in combination with an associated energy efficiency policy would be the best strategy to mitigate both problems”.

This workshop made clear how efficient bioenergy use can compete with fossil gas and how Europe can fulfill its goals for renewables without depending on fossil gas imports. However, key challenges – correction of misinformation held by general public on bioenergy as well as development of reliable bioenergy statistics globally – should be overcome before the bioenergy targets can be achieved. 

The discussions also highlighted case studies from Lithuania and Latvia which have been successful in achieving extraordinary growth in bioenergy in a short term leading to significant economic savings even with an increase in overall fuel consumption. Also, supply chain innovations like increasing energy density, investments in biomass handling units and sharing existing mature supply chains can dramatically reduce the cost of imports. 
Overall the workshop proved that in Europe, bioenergy has immense potential and can contribute significantly to energy security and climate change mitigation. 

For a link to the position paper click here
For a link to the Agenda click here     

Download the presentations here

Presentation 1  - "Overview of natural Gas Supply" Andrew Potter, WBA

Presentation 2 - "Bioenergy in EU/Biomass Imports 2010-2013" Jean-Marc Jossart, Aebiom

How EU is Decreasing Russian Imports

Presentation 3  - "Latvia" - Didzis Palejs, Latbio

Presentation 4 - "Lithuania" - Vytautas Stasiunas, Lithuanian District Heating Association

Presentation 5 - "Ukraine" - Patrick de Jamblinne, Tuzetka 

Presentation 6 - "Replacing Fossil Gas with Biogas - Realistic Potential" Harm Grobrugge, European Biogas Association 

Presentation 7 - "EU Internal Biomass/Supply Utlisation 2020-2030" - Silvio Mergener, Poyry 

Presentation 8 - "Biomass Imports to EU 2020-30 by Supply Chain Innovation" & "Biotrade Fund - Investment to release stranded Biomass"- Douglas Bradley, Climate Change Solutions 

Due to large file size this presentation has been split into 2 parts.

Download PART 1 

Download PART 2