29 Juli 2009

European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative Forgets Bioheat

EU-proposal for multi-billion-euro research programme focussing on advanced biofuels

The European Biofuels Technology Platform (EBTP) is proposing to finance a 6 to 8 billion euro research programme for bioenergy. The programme “European Industrial Bioenergy Initiative (EIBI)” was presented on 26 June 2009 to a restricted number of national representatives including the European Biomass Association (AEBIOM). The meeting was managed by the Commission, companies Total, Neste Oil, UPM and the research centre VTT.

This initiative falls under the scope of the Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET plan, COM(2007)723) to accelerate the commercial deployment of advanced technologies to meet the EU 2020 target. The EBTP considers that advanced biofuels are key technologies to reach the EU target for bioenergy as other technologies like heat are mature enough and needs nothing else but only market instruments to be developed.

The EIBI aims at reaching 4% of EU transport market with advanced biofuels in 2020 by selecting and funding demonstration and reference plants projects. The following seven value chains have been selected:
1. Synthetic fuels/hydrocarbons from biomass gasification
2. Biomethane and other gaseous fuels from biomass gasification
3. High efficiency power generation via gasification of biomass
4. Bioenergy carriers from biomass via other thermochemical processes like pyrolysis, torrefaction, etc.
5. Ethanol and higher alcohol from carbohydrates containing biomass
6. Renewable hydrocarbons from carbohydrates containing biomass via biological and/or chemical processes
7. Production of bioenergy carriers from CO2 and sunlight through micro-organism based production (algae, bacteria, etc.) and further upgrading into transportation fuels and valuable bio-products.

The EBTP expects a budget of 6.000 to 8.000 millions euros to finance about 20 demonstration plants. Criteria will be defined to select these projects in an objective way. The Commission (DG Research) is in principle supporting these projects. The EBTP is supposed to organise a consultation on it.

It would be regretful for AEBIOM if the Commission supports such “Bioenergy” (note, not Biofuels) initiative without any project on bioheat. It is therefore important for AEBIOM members to participate in the European Renewable Heating and Cooling Platform in order to come up with additional proposals of value chains.

Further informationen
Discussion document on EIBI and Slides presented on 26 June are available on request at info@aebiom.org.

Source: European Biomass Association (AEBIOM), Newsletter, 2009-07.

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