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Czeching out Bioenergy Day

Bioenergy is Europe's leading renewable energy source. According to Eurostat data and calculations made by the European Biomass Association (AEBIOM), bioenergy will be able to supply 11% of the final energy consumption in 2017. An additional 7% comes from the other renewables, while the rest (82%) still comes from fossil fuels. In this context, for 66 days the EU can run on renewable energies, 41 days of which are supplied by bioenergy—from November 21 to the end of the year.

For the Czech Republic, its Bioenergy Day occurs on November 15 and it is something that the Czech Biomass Association (CZ Biom) in cooperation with the Chamber of Renewable Energy Sources (RES Chamber) have sought to draw public attention to.

The 46 days remaining until the end of the year symbolically represent the expected 13 percent of this year’s share of biomass in energy consumption in the Czech Republic. At a number of locations around the country, there is a fun educational programme whereby the organisers have brought “alive” new statistics.

Targeting households

Bioenergy has many forms; fuelwood which is used by a quarter of Czech households, biogas and wood pellets. For the latter, the country produces over 300 000 tonnes per annum, enough for 60 000 – 80 000 households.

According to CZ Biom, around two-thirds of pellet production is exported. And although the number of households using pellets grows, it is still only about 25 000 households. On the other hand, some 380 000 households are still using coal to heat their homes.

Inauguration in September 2016 of a new biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) plant that now provides district heating and electricity from the same fuel load for the Czech medieval town of Bouzov gives a good reason to smile.

The Czech Republic is already efficiently supporting the production of heat from clean sources. However, CZ Biom points out that the state should do two things: first of all, stop boiler subsidies to support the so-called combined boilers, because people are burning coal in them. And on the other hand, it should motivate households to clean heating by reducing VAT on fuelwood, pellets and briquettes.

The replacement of a coal-fired boiler with a new coal-fired boiler is like replacing a cigarette box with a cigarette pack, so the regions should stop paying subsidies for those boilers that burn coal and focus on really clean, yet comfortable, heating. The simplest and at the same time inexpensive substitute for coal is a wood pellet, that in conjunction with an automatic boiler will provide almost as much comfort as using fossil gas. Reducing VAT on pellets will have negligible overall effect for the state but will enable every household to have affordable and environmentally friendly heating, said Adam Moravec, CZ Biom.

About European Bioenergy Day

The European Bioenergy Day campaign is powered by the European Biomass Association (AEBIOM) and relayed across Europe by both national and international partners supporting the belief that bioenergy is more than a renewable energy source, but a reliable path that will lead Europe to achieve its renewable energy transition in the shortest span of time.

The campaign will last 66 days, starting from November 21 through the end of the year. This is a symbolic date on which the European Bioenergy Day will be celebrated by organizing the European Bioenergy Future Conference, to be held in Brussels on that date.

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