e-EUBCE Opening Highlights

5 July 2020

The first ever entirely virtual edition of the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition started today with the opening session streamed online.

This year’s theme of the EUBCE is the role of the bioeconomy in the post-pandemic economic recovery and this is the topic that was addressed by the scientific and political keynotes and during the panel debate.

The overarching and recurring concept expressed by the full range of speakers is that domestic bioenergy can both stimulate the post-pandemic economy recovery and decarbonise the environment at the same time, if based on well-designed and sustainable biomass supply chains, as pointed out by David Chiaramonti, Polytechnic of Turin, in its scientific opening speech.

He also emphasized the strategic role that biofuels could play to contribute to fuel security and energy storage, when considering EU’s large storage capacity in the gas grid and liquid fuels tanks.

Bioenergy and the bioeconomy can be also enablers for sustainable agriculture, sustainable biomass resources can be made available in large amounts while achieving synergies with sustainable farming, forest management and the restoration of degraded lands, as clearly explained by prof. André Faaij, Scientific Director at TNO the Netherlands in its keynote speech. He emphasized that sustainable European biomass potentials can cover one third of the future primary energy supply; comparable to the role of mineral oil today. Advanced technologies and BECCS offer pathways to supply high-quality fuels and heavy industries with negative emissions. These are major opportunities that should not be missed for the post-pandemic economic recovery. A concept backed Giovanni De Santi, Director of the Directorate for Sustainable Resources European Commission: the bioeconomy is key to drive the green transition towards a climate-neutral economy, he said. Deploying a sustainable and circular bioeconomy will boost the competitiveness of the bio-based sectors and support the creation of new value chains across Europe, while restoring and enhancing the overall status of our natural resources. The European Commission Knowledge Centre on Bioeconomy provides the knowledge base for a sustainable and circular bioeconomy that operates within safe ecological limits.

The panel debate also provided different expert’s views on the relation between bioenergy, the bioeconomy and what is needed to the ensure they can fully contribute to the economic recovery. The main highlights from the discussion can be summarized by the following statements from the panelists:
  • Bioeconomy as a modern form of agriculture is the future of Europe (Arnaud Leroy, ADEME President);
  • Sustainable Bioeconomy will only develop on the basis of scientific knowledge, the role of research is very crucial for innovation for mitigation and adaptation of climate change. (Monique Axelos INRAE Scientific Director for Food and Bioeconomy, France);
  • Message to institutional organizations: let’s move from words to real policy and real development (Paolo Frankl, International Energy Agency).

During the final debate, panelists explained also the single most important issues to attract finance to the bioenergy and bioeconomy sector:
  • We need successful, commercial and pioneering demonstration plants to prove that the technology is ready and working to attract private investors (Jim Spaeth, IEA Bioenergy ExCo Chair & U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Efficiency & Renewable);
  • Stable policies are crucial to ensure investor’s security and to support a solid business case (Gloria Gaupmann, LSB Advanced Biofuels Coalition, Chair & Clariant Head of Public Affairs, Technology & Innovation);
  • There is no problem to attract private investors in PV and wind because of a stable regulatory framework. We need to be inspired from these technologies and do the same for bioenergy (Jean-Louis Bal SER - Syndicat des énergies renouvelables, President, France);
  • Policy stability and market stability develop when one adapts mechanism for effectively monitoring price risks, credit risks and supply chain risks over a longer time frame (Freddy Staermose, Generation Fuels & Dry Bulks - Vice President, ARGUS);
  • Increase ambition of Europe’s climate goals, possibly a 55% reduction goal for 2030 and review the corresponding directives on renewable energy and energy efficiency for the higher ambition (Giulio Volpi, European Commission DG Energy Renewables and CCS policy);
  • We also need a positive narrative for bioenergy (Paolo Frankl, International Energy Agency).

The quote form Jennifer Holmgren CEO LanzaTech US best describes todays’ situation:
  • Our world is on fire, we have to do something, we need to do it quickly and we can do this together. Bioeconomy has the potential to have a great impact on a sustainable future and also in the job creation, we need to enable our economies to come out from the Covid crisis.

The conference will continue through July 9, the complete recording of the Opening session can be watched at https://youtu.be/mbiXEVFTra4

The interactive platform and its content will be available for viewing until September 2020.

About e-EUBCE 2020 – 28th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition

The EUBCE 2020 is a leading platform for the biomass specialists. The conference programme addresses topics from biomass to bioliquids and biofuels for heat and electricity, transport and biobased products. It covers all the aspects of each value chain, from supply and logistics to conversion technologies, from industrial application of research results to impacts on the environment, from market and trade aspects to policy strategies, not least to the role of biomass as a source in integrated energy systems.

The EUBCE is supported by European and international organizations such as the European Commission, UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – Natural Sciences Sector, WCRE – the World Council for Renewable Energy, EUBIA – the European Biomass Industry Association, The Central European Initiative, The Global Bioenergy Partnership and other organisations.

The Technical Programme is coordinated by European Commission, Joint Research Centre.

This year for the first time the EUBCE is organized as an entirely virtual conference and runs from July 6 to July 9, 2020.

The interactive platform and its content will be available for viewing until September 2020.





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