Page 60 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2016 publication
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60  Summer 2016 European Energy Innovation


renewable energy directive (REDII)          term vision within the framework of       bioenergy sustainability, to assess
with 2030 targets. While preparing the      this new renewable energy directive.      stakeholders’ opinions on the risks to
directive, the European Commission          Both RES technologies and market          be addressed and the effectiveness
has launched a wide consultation on         players are ready to deliver. With        of existing policies. AEBIOM is
the new renewable energy directive – to     this in mind, AEBIOM has thrown its       supporting a harmonised EU policy on
which AEBIOM has responded. This            weight behind an ambitious post-          sustainability that would simultaneously
review was a very good opportunity to       2020 renewable energy package that        provide investor trust and visibility,
look back on achievements and lessons       fosters a vibrant home market with        avoid market barriers and give the
learnt. So far, in spite of a few specific  clear growth perspectives, and asserts    opportunity to the sector to show its
sectoral concerns, most observers           the EU’s leadership in renewables         commitment in delivering sustainable
agree that the first renewable energy       in the face of rising international       bioenergy. The initiative would
directive (RED) allowed renewable           competition. However, we think that the   also provide a stable investment
energy operators to develop and plan        EU renewable energy sector can deliver    environment for energy producers
investments within a stable medium-         more than the 27% of the 2030 target      and biomass suppliers. Over the
term regulatory framework. The RED,         set so far by both the Commission and     last few years, the absence of such
a pioneer initiative at the time, has       Member States. We also regret that        harmonisation has led to the onset of
encouraged Member States to support         the EU target is not implemented into     varying national sustainability rules –
RES projects, sometimes with financial      nationally legally binding targets.       making trade barriers more complex.
incentives that were key in terms of                                                  This gap has also given room for
developing a more mature sector             In addition to these key concerns,        discrediting the bioenergy sector on
that could face the competition of          AEBIOM is advocating for a pragmatic      the basis of sometimes oversimplified
fossil-derived energy. This stability       approach meant to reassure market         and stereotyped messages. An
and support was a strong signal for         players: firstly, it’s always good to     EU sustainability policy, based on
economic operators who answered             remind ourselves that we should           a balanced and non-bureaucratic
the call en masse, allowing to develop      meet the 2020 objectives (20% RES).       approach, would not only make sure
renewables and progress towards the         Secondly, we need to build on the         that sufficient volumes of biomass
2020 20% EU target. Considering this,       existing RED and seek to improve it.      complying with sustainability criteria
the RED can be considered as a solid        Thirdly, the recent EU Heating and        will be mobilised and delivered to
success. However, political stimuli are     Cooling strategy is welcome, as the       the market, but would also address
short-lived and need to be renewed          sector represents 50% of our final        questions and concerns from wider-
when the time comes. As a matter            energy consumption: it could be           society.
of fact, contrary to all expectations,      decarbonised with RES H&C sources
investments in renewable energy             like biomass, and this should be          European energy policy is like a
assets in the EU fell by 18% in 2015,       taken into account in the REDII. An       complex puzzle. Every piece is
reaching their lowest level since 2006!     important role is played by the building  important in order to complete the
Up until today, when asked about            sector here, with the residential         whole picture, and we need them
their main concerns, key European           sector representing 45% of final H&C      all for smooth bioenergy market
bioenergy industry players’ responses       consumption. A minimum share of RES       development. Many stakeholders,
are twofold: a lack of regulatory           should be required for new buildings      often with different visions and
visibility after 2020 and the recent        and long-term renovation strategies       objectives, are involved in the
changes in some national support            of existing buildings should be           bioenergy debate. Working together,
schemes. The latter, national support       established at national level to address  and moving in the same direction, is
schemes, are no longer considered           the existing building stock.              becoming a challenge. Bioenergy can
as secure as they once were. In this                                                  deliver energy security, contribute
context, the outcomes of COP21 are          Last but not least, in mid-February,      to climate change mitigation, create
an opportunity not to be missed, and        the European Commission has               jobs and strengthen innovation and
should be used by the EU to renew its       announced an improved EU bioenergy        competitiveness, provided that sound
momentum. What RES market players           sustainability policy for the end of the  legislation is in place. Key policies are
need above all today is a strong            year. In this context, it has launched    being negotiated in 2016, hopefully for
positive message and a solid medium         a 3 month public consultation on          the best! l

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