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Researcher Göran Berndes recipient of 2017 Jan Häckner's Bioenergy Award

Göran Berndes, researcher, and Associate Professor, Energy and Environment at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden is this year's recipient of Jan Häckner's Bioenergy Award.

Karin Medin, Chairman of the Swedish Bioenergy Association (Svebio) handed over the Jan Häckner’s Bioenergy Award to this year’s recipient Göran Berndes, researcher, and Associate Professor, Energy and Environment at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Karin Medin, Chairman of the Swedish Bioenergy Association (Svebio) handed over the Jan Häckner’s Bioenergy Award to this year’s recipient Göran Berndes, researcher, and Associate Professor, Energy and Environment at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Karin Medin, Chairman of the Swedish Bioenergy Association (Svebio) handed over the Jan Häckner’s Bioenergy Award to this year’s recipient Göran Berndes, researcher, and Associate Professor, Energy and Environment at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The award ceremony took place during the Svebio annual meeting on April 5. In the form of a scholarship, the award is given in recognition of an individual that through his or hers efforts in research, innovation or business development, has promoted the increased use of bioenergy in a sustainable way.

The award winner is announced as part of the Svebio annual general meeting in which the recipient also holds a presentation on the subject matter. Berndes’ research integrates land use and energy systems at scales ranging from local case studies to the global context. The research is in particular directed towards the production and use of biomass for food, energy and materials purposes.

Address criticism with scientifically well-founded argumentation

According to Medin, who cited from the motivation statement, not only is Berndes’ area of research crucial but he is established as a leading international expert within these fields and is active in the International Energy Agency (IEA), IEA Bioenergy amongst others.

More recently Berndes has participated in the debate on the climate impact of bioenergy and has in a scientific manner addressed generalisations and claims about bioenergy as a “climate bomb” that creates a “carbon debt” with extremely long payback periods. He has also communicated this knowledge outside of academic circles, provided background support to the European Commission (EC) and other decision-makers.

Of particular and significant importance is the initiative to gather a group of leading international researchers and expertise behind a synthesis paper entitled ”Forest biomass, carbon neutrality and climate change mitigation”, that was published October 2016 by the European Forest Institute (EFI). Another example where Göran Berndes has had a central role is the response that was given to the recently published Chatham House report.

– For the bioenergy sector, it is crucial that criticism can be met with scientifically well-founded argumentation. It is also essential that scientists and researchers participate in the debate and communicate their knowledge. It is against this solid backdrop that Göran Berndes is this year’s recipient of Jan Häckner’s Bioenergy Award, said Karin Medin.

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