The total bioheat consumption in the EU has increased by 76 percent from 2000 to 2021. Nonetheless, 73 percent of the total heat consumption in 2021 in the EU still came from fossil fuels, according to a new report from Bioenergy Europe.
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The 2023 Statistical Report Bioheat report released by Bioenergy Europe analyses the state of play of biomass in the EU heating sector while the accompanying Policy Brief presents the most relevant legislative recommendations.
The report finds that in 2021, the heating sector accounted for nearly half of the final energy consumption in the EU yet about 73 percent of the total heat consumption came from fossil fuels.
This shows, the report notes, how the decarbonization of the heating sector is crucial, not only to reduce energy dependency but also for a successful transition to a carbon-neutral energy system by 2050.
That same year, from the heating produced by renewable sources, bioheat made up the largest share, namely 83 percent, slightly more than 20 percent of total heating and cooling consumption.
The demand for bioheat from different sectors (households, industries, district heating, etc.) is increasing, with biomass being perceived as a stable and reliable fuel.
This is because most of the biomass used for bioheat is sourced locally, playing a fundamental role in EU energy security, and generating jobs in rural areas.
The related greenhouse gas (GHG) savings were around 162 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (MtCO2eq), nearly the total current annual emissions of the Netherlands.
The changes that the EU’s Fit for 55 (FF55) Package will implement through the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (REDIII), the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED), and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) provide a unique opportunity to refocus the EU’s efforts towards the heating sector.
Social and economic incentives should be introduced or strengthened to make biomass and other renewable solutions more competitive.
With more than 50 million houses heated today by biomass, the sector is still growing, The EU should further support it through modernization and digitalization to make sure it delivers even more in terms of energy security and decarbonization, commented Jean-Marc Jossart, Secretary-General of Bioenergy Europe.