As Europe heads into the 2021/2022 heating season, the national transposition and implementation of the EU Renewable Energy Directive (REDII) sustainability criteria still remain unclear in most Member States. This lack of information and uncertainty for European bioenergy players', which risks having far-reaching unintended consequences for European households and industry, is something that Bioenergy Europe aims to address in an upcoming webinar.
As per July 1, 2021, the EU Renewable Energy Directive (REDII) is required to be transposed in the Member States legislation, signifying the necessity for EU solid biomass suppliers and bioenergy producers to demonstrate compliance with the sustainability requirements within the coming months.
According to Bioenergy Europe’s “2021 Statistical Report Bioheat“ biomass for heat, “bioheat”, is by far the largest renewable energy source accounting for 17.4 percent of the EU 27 heating and cooling sector in 2019.
Solid biomass (ie pellets, briquettes, woodchips, etc) accounted for 90 percent of this. Furthermore, the vast majority of solid biomass volumes are sourced and consumed locally and regionally within the Member States, although volumes of intra-state traded biomass are increasing.
A significant share is used in installations that are exempt, thus far one might add, and outside the scope of REDII on account of the 20 MW installed capacity threshold.
However, industrial plant, combined heat and/or power (CHP) plant, and district heat plant operators within the REDII scope are obliged to demonstrate REDII sustainability compliance for biomass in supply contracts signed on or after July 1, 2021.
Biomass volumes in supply contracts signed before July 1, 2021, are not subject to the REDII but need to be delivered before July 1, 2022.
This much is known along with the various (voluntary) certification schemes to demonstrate compliance. Yet as Europe heads into the 2021/2022 heating season, the national transposition and implementation of the REDII still remain unclear in most Member States.
Already with current high oil and gas prices – 78 percent of the European heating and cooling sector is fossil-fueled – compounded by high power prices, this lack of information and uncertainty surrounding REDII for European bioenergy market players adds additional volatility to the coming heating season that risks becoming a cold, dark, and expensive one for European households.
What are the REDII sustainability requirements for solid biomass? What is the state-of-play of REDII transposition and implementation across the Member States? How can the biomass industry demonstrate compliance with REDII sustainability criteria? Are there any certification schemes to prove compliance?
These complex yet pressing issues facing the European bioenergy industry will be scrutinized at an upcoming free-to-attend Bioenergy Europe webinar.