Will the EU’s renewables directive change the landscape for forest biomass?
(EurActiv, 10 Apr 2023) The EU’s revised Renewable Energy Directive strengthens the sustainability criteria for biomass heat and power, but the compromise text means it might only lead to limited improvements in the short term, argue Gemma Toop and Michèle Koper.
Gemma Toop and Michèle Koper are experts at Guidehouse, a global management consultancy advising energy providers, corporations, and the public sector.
A provisional agreement on the Renewable Energy Directive (REDIII) was reached between the European Council, European Parliament, and the European Commission on 30 March 2023.
REDIII is part of the ‘Fit for 55’ package, bringing EU legislation in line with the 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction goal.
Biomass currently contributes around 60% of EU renewable energy, across the electricity, heat and transport sectors. There is no doubt biomass will be needed to meet the increased renewable energy target of 42.5% in 2030.
Agreeing on the sustainability criteria for forest biomass was a major sticking point for REDIII negotiators. Mandatory sustainability criteria for biomass used in heat and power were only introduced to the previous version of the directive – REDII – from 2021.
For REDIII, some parties pushed to further strengthen those criteria to ensure sustainable biomass use.
EurActiv, 10 Apr 2023: Will the EU’s renewables directive change the landscape for forest biomass?