Bioenergy is essential to Europe’s energy needs. By converting Eurostat forecasts for Europe’s energy consumption in a calendar format, Bioenergy Europe has calculated that biomass can cover the 2018 energy needs of all 28 European Union Member States for 43 days, two more than last year. Bioenergy Europe will mark this achievement with the second edition of its European Bioenergy Day Campaign on November 19, 2018.
According to Eurostat forecasts and calculations by the European Biomass Association, Bioenergy Europe (previously known as AEBIOM), bioenergy will account for 12 percent of the EU’s final energy supply in 2018, while all other renewable energy sources will reach 7 percent. Converted to calendar days, Europe’s energy mix for 2018 in calendar days is as follows:
- Fossil and nuclear energy, 293 days – January 1 to October 19
- Renewables excluding bioenergy, 29 days – October 20 to November 18
- Bioenergy, 43 days –November 19 to December 31 which is two extra days compared to 2017
The symbolic date of November 19 will, therefore, be celebrated as the 2018 ‘European Bioenergy Day’ two days earlier than in 2017. The increased contribution of Europe’s largest renewable energy source is remarkable, looking back to 2000 it provided as much as 18 days clean energy to Europeans.
Aiming to create awareness
Apart from renewable energy, bioenergy creates jobs and economic opportunities not least in rural areas. One of two Europeans working in the renewable sector is employed in the bioenergy sector – 500 000 jobs, roughly the same number employed in the European pharmaceutical sector.
Another important aspect highlighted by Bioenergy Europe is bioenergy’s contribution towards energy security by reducing fossil fuel dependency: in 2015 alone, biomass consumption helped save EUR 32.1 million worth of fossil fuel imports. However, as Bioenergy Europe points 81 percent of EU’s energy still comes from non-renewable sources, mainly fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas.
The European Bioenergy Day Campaign, led by Bioenergy Europe and supported by national bioenergy associations, aims at informing the public and all relevant energy stakeholders about these and other figures representative of the often-overlooked role bioenergy is playing in Europe.
Bioenergy Europe notes that compared to last year, countries like Denmark, Sweden, and Hungary have seen a net increase in bioenergy consumption of up to 4 days and the sector should collectively aspire to move its annual European Bioenergy Day as early as October by 2030, hitting an overall European target of renewable energy production of 32 percent – with bioenergy continuing playing a central role.
Just as in 2017, Sweden was the first to celebrate its national Bioenergy Day 2018, on August 18 “3.9 days” earlier than in 2017. Also like last year Sweden is followed by Finland (34%), Latvia (32%), Estonia (28%) and Denmark (27%).