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An asSUREd biomass sustainability scheme begins operations

In Europe, SUSTAINABLE RESOURCES Verification Scheme GmbH (SURE) has officially started operations of a new "independent and credible certification system" to ensure sustainable use of biomass within the energy sector. Jointly owned by Bioenergy Europe and REDcert GmbH, SURE is a sustainability certification system that has defined verifiable criteria for the production of electricity and heat from solid biomass and biogas to enable RED II compliance for all economic operators.

In Europe, SUSTAINABLE RESOURCES Verification Scheme GmbH (SURE) has officially started operations of a new “independent and credible certification system” to ensure sustainable use of biomass within the energy sector.

Following two years of meticulous preparation, including pilot trials, the SUSTAINABLE RESOURCES Verifications Scheme (SURE) has now begun its operational business by providing a “practical solution” to all economic operators within the bioenergy sector to demonstrate the sustainability of electricity and heat production from biomass.

The aim of SURE is to enable all economic operators to show compliance with the legal requirements of the recast Renewable Energy Directive (EU) 2018/2001 (RED II).

Verify compliance with RED II sustainability criteria

Under RED II, mandatory sustainability criteria have been introduced for economic operators receiving support for the production of electricity or heating and cooling from biomass and biogas. The new rules come into force on July 1, 2021.

However, economic operators are well advised to identify potential weaknesses in the company at an early stage and to check compliance in good time.

Bioenergy Europe expects that bottlenecks may occur when thousands of economic operators simultaneously seek certification in order to fulfill their legal obligations in due time.

The implementation of RED II means that all economic operators in the supply chain must provide proof of sustainability. We foresee a huge demand and therefore, it is our strong recommendation to the companies to start the certification process as soon as possible, said Peter Jürgens, General Manager of SURE.

According to SURE, it is a well-balanced and practical full-scope certification system meaning SURE provides certification for the entire supply chain. It is open to agricultural and forest biomass producers, producers of biomass fuel from waste and residues, pellet producers, logistic operators, biomass fuel traders, biomass, and biogas plants.

Flue gas plume from a woodchip-fired district heat plant in rural Sweden on a frosty October morning.

This broad-spectrum enables certification from a single source even for different material flows with transparency and objectivity guaranteed through regular checks by independent and neutral auditors.

Over the coming months, until SURE is recognized by the European Commission to verify compliance with RED II, it will run as a voluntary verification scheme to prove feasibility and to prepare the bioenergy industry for the RED II implementation.

All certification bodies interested to join the scheme are invited to submit their application. The first applicants among the economic operators are also expected.

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