Reducing dependence on Russian gas, as the European Commission is now proposing in its REPowerEU, is both reasonable and important given the war in Ukraine. However, according to the Swedish Bioenergy Association (Svebio), the proposal is lop-sided in its near-exclusive focus on electrification and hydrogen as the means to replace Russian gas.
The most successful projects to reduce the use of Russian gas have used biomass fuels. Despite this, bioenergy is not mentioned at all, apart from biogas in the Commission’s proposal, says Gustav Melin, CEO of Svebio, in a comment on the European Commission’s REPowerEU proposal that was presented on March 8, 2022.
Therefore, Svebio says that the European Commission must now reconsider its negative view of bioenergy.
To replace large volumes of fossil gas used in heating and industry, biomass fuels such as woodchips and pellets are needed, as well as increased use of waste-to-energy (WtE) for non-recyclable waste, which today in many countries is landfilled.
Lithuania – a textbook example
In addition to reducing dependence on Russia, this change has almost halved the price for Lithuanian heating customers.
A similar adjustment of the heat supply can be carried out in a number of countries that are currently dependent on Russian gas. Sweden has long since made itself fossil-independent through bio-based district heating.
The bioenergy solutions are based on well-known technologies and can be produced at low costs compared to other alternatives. In addition, it is about plannable energy production that works well at all times of the year and in all weather conditions, ended Gustav Melin.