IEA Bioenergy says bioenergy from wood is “part of a sustainable energy mix”

As the European Parliament (EP) prepares to vote on the biomass amendments on 14 September, and in a report While the three largest groups in the EP backed proposals to end subsidies for biomass used in power plants and to exclude primary wood combustion from EU renewable energy targets, IEA Bioenergy said released a statement.
Dr. Paul Bennett, Chairman of the IEA Bioenergy Executive Committee, said:
“Europe is facing a difficult winter season due to Russia’s war in Ukraine and the question is: where will enough electricity and heat come from at affordable prices? Urgent action is needed to move away from dependence on fossil fuels, both for energy security and for the climate.
“But there are campaigns now being waged against wood bioenergy that misrepresent forestry practices on the ground. This is dangerously short-sighted and ignoring the wider environmental and social implications. Policy-making should be evidence-based , not on fiction.
“IEA Bioenergy, as well as the Joint Research Center (JRC) of the European Commission, have published reports to dispel misconceptions and misrepresentations regarding forest biomass.
The facts are:

“Forest bioenergy is an important part of Europe’s energy supply – especially for heat production – which meets today’s energy demand and security requirements in this critical political situation. More than 90% of biomass used for energy comes from European resources.
“Sustainably managed forests continue to absorb carbon from the atmosphere and provide, in addition to timber or pulpwood, significant amounts of low-quality wood resources that can be used for energy. No forest should be felled for this.
“Forest biomass used for energy are mainly residues and low-quality wood resources. The European Commission’s Joint Research Center has found that around 50% of the wood used for bioenergy in the EU is derived from secondary products, such as forest industry par- products and post-consumer reclaimed wood, 17% from tree tops, branches and other residues, and 20% from stem wood – which is mostly coppice wood, thinning wood of small stems and poor quality harvested stems that cannot be used in sawmills or pulp and paper production.
We therefore note here: the wood used for bioenergy is not high quality wood, but generally includes thinnings, poor quality wood, reclaimed wood, logging residues, processing residues or waste wood.
“Any harvesting of biomass – whether for bioenergy, building materials, paper or any other use – must be done within the limits of sustainability. Sustainable forest management programs such as FSC-approved programs or the PEFC contain clear requirements for the maintenance of forests and their biodiversity Many countries have adopted similar principles of forest management in their national or regional forest legislation In addition, in the European context, the Renewable Energy (RED II) imposes additional requirements to minimize the risk of using forest biomass from unsustainable practices The Directive has been implemented into national law by all EU Member States before June 30, 2021, and its sustainability requirements must also be met by biomass imported from North America.
“The use of fossil fuels causes a linear flow of carbon from geological reserves to the atmosphere. Simply comparing the CO2 emissions of fossil fuels and bioenergy to tailpipes – as is sometimes done – misses the point. this fundamental difference between biogenic and fossil carbon.As long as the crops do not exceed the carbon absorption in the forest, the use of woody biomass does not increase the atmospheric concentration of CO2.
“The most important action now is – in addition to ensuring access to energy and increased energy independence – to transform energy and transport systems as soon as possible so that we can leave fossil carbon Sustainable bioenergy – also from wood – is now available, and is compatible with existing energy infrastructures, allowing an immediate substitution of coal, natural gas or petroleum fuels, thus playing an important role in the support for the transformation of the energy system to achieve net zero objectives.