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Recommendations for creating a bioenergy macro-region


Jan 22, 2014

Bioenergy Promotion 2 has successfully handed over to the Council of Baltic Sea States at set of recommendations on developing and disseminating sustainable bioenergy systems in the Baltic Sea Region.

In close cooperation with the Baltic 21 / CBSS Expert Group on Sustainable Development the project has carried out a workshop on the 5th of December 2013 in Stockholm.

A policy paper developed within task 4.2 was presented and a dialogue on five selected recommendations was facilitated. A very engaged discussion took place, whereby key issues and good practice examples concerning each of the recommendations were highlighted.

The selected four recommendations are the following:

 

1.       Promotion of the Green Growth Agenda

Bioenergy is especially well suited for contributing to the creation of a Green Economy / Green Growth, either as an integral part of broader sustainable business development activities, or forming specialized bioenergy business development platforms, clusters and other initiatives.

 

2.       Driver of Local Development

Bioenergy has a wide spectrum of opportunities for driving the local development, with regard to both quality of life and economic vitality. Yet, there is a need for innovative and efficient frameworks and instruments in order to unleash this potential.

One key aspect is regional and local (bio)energy strategies and action plans, which can be provided by public authorities in a co-creative process involving key stakeholders.

Another key aspect is related to strengthening entrepreneurship and market development; this focus might go hand in hand with the elaboration of energy plans.

Here the principle of multilevel governance can be unfolded and pave the way for actions that create vertical cooperation as well as horizontal dynamics.

 

3.       Renewable Energy System

In order to develop sustainable = renewable energy systems it is important to carry out careful analyses on possible future energy system designs. Thereby the whole energy system - composed of three subsystems: resources, conversion, end-use - must be taken into consideration, to ensure the most energy and cost efficient solutions.

This system approach is also a precondition for optimal use of the available biomass resources for energy production.

By reducing the energy need in the end-use, and creating more efficient conversion processes, the need for biomass, which is a limited resource, will be reduced.

 

4.       Baltic Sustainable Bioenergy Certification System

Biomass is in principle a local or regional resource, which - from an energetic point of view - most efficiently is used close to the production site. Yet, some types of biomass and certain amounts of biomass might be needed in other regions, also in the future. Therefore it makes sense to create some kind of regulation that promotes a macro-regional bioenergy market.

In order to create energy solutions based on sustainable bioenergy the total carbon cycle - or in economic terms: the full value chain - must be addressed. This lifecycle approach, which is in accordance with the EU directive on renewable energy, comprises the biomass production phase as well as all post-forestry/-agriculture phases, i.e. conversion, transmission and end-use.

 An initiative in the Baltic Sea Region can get Inspiration from the Sustainable Biomass Partnership (formerly Initiative Wood Pellets Buyers), especially the principles and methods that have been applied.

Thus a certification system should on the one hand as a minimum follow the EU directive on renewable energy, and on the other hand be based on the chain of custody principle.

Preferably the development process should seek to integrate already existing control mechanisms and certification systems in the Baltic Sea Region, and make sure that the best available knowledge is taken into account.

 

Actions to be taken

It is envisaged that the recommendations will be further developed within the Expert Group on Sustainable Development and hopefully adopted at a meeting during 2014.

Moreover the recommendations will be presented in other political and administrative fora in the Baltic Sea Region.

Contact Secretariat

  • The “Virtual Bioenergy Promotion Secretariat” consists of the 13 project partners.
    Interested regions, municipalities and further stakeholders can contact the Secretariat via the secretariat e-mail address:bioenergypromotion@motiva.fi.