Import sustainable wood to meet renewable targets in the EU

Sustainable wood for bioenergy

La European Union set targets for the generation of renewable energy from biomass for the year 2030. This energy would cover part of the European energy demand using organic waste from forestry and livestock activities.

A recent analysis by Birdlife Europe and Transport & Environment responsible for protecting the environment, reveals that waste from sustainable activities that deal with biomass would only cover a maximum of 80% of the forecasts set by the EU by 2030. What can the EU do in this situation?

This past October, the Heads of State and Government agreed to boost the amount of renewable energy generated in the EU through an energetic mix. The objective of this commitment is to reduce polluting emissions in order to fight climate change. They also plan to increasingly reduce dependence on fossil fuels. It was intended at least that by 2030, it would be used 27% more renewable energy.

As the biomass used for bioenergy (Bioenergy is that renewable energy that is generated from the waste of living beings) only covers 80% of what is planned, ecologists defend that the rest should be provided through imports of sustainable wood and food crops from outside European borders. In this way, the energy deficit would be alleviated, they would not have to be subject to EU regulations and the impact on the environment would be minimal.

Therefore, the EU will have to be forced to import all organic waste as cow manure and wood waste in order to reach the renewable energy generation limit set for 2030. That is why next November 30 a review of the Renewable Energy Directive provided by the European Commission. This standard is the main political reference in the use of bioenergy throughout Europe.

manure for bioenergy generation

Manure is used to generate renewable energy

According to the study carried out by ecologists, in 2014 bioenergy represented 64,1% of all renewable energy generation in EuropeHowever, they only argue that by 2030, bioenergy could only reach just 30% of all energy demand in the EU.

Due to the fact that waste management in the EU is becoming more efficient and improving every day, the availability of organic waste to be able to generate energy will decrease over the years. On the other hand, burning for the production of bioenergy is a waste of natural resources. This wood should first be used for the construction of furniture, paper, houses and for the packaging industry.

Jori sihvonen, is responsible for bioenergy in Transport & Environment and commented the following:

"Europe should limit the use of bioenergy and dedicate its efforts to promoting the sustainable use of renewable energies, including solar, wind, geothermal and tidal energy"

Analyzing what happens, if the Renewable Energy Directive encourages the growth of bioenergy more and more instead of promoting other energies, it would increasingly encourage the use of unsustainable bioenergy, having to lead to the importation of wood .

In short, both Birdlife Europe and Transport & Environment have called on the EU to develop sustainability regulations for bioenergy. Sustainable supplies are needed to be able to generate bioenergy, otherwise it would not make sense to call it renewable energy. The wood has to come from sustainable forestry. Some biofuels used today are based on food and tree burning that are much worse than generating energy with fossil fuels, which is why it is intended that all this is directed towards a more sustainable objective. The policy should exclude the use of agricultural crops and trees to generate energy in order to make room for more sustainable forms of bioenergy.


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