Part-financed by The European Union
European Regional Development Fund and European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument
Strategy implementation activities involve wide range of activities, such as support meetings with politicians on national, regional levels, as well as informational seminars with regional and municipal planners, bioenergy stakeholders, and other interested institutions.
Civil Parish Riešė consists of 68 villages. Population – 5,650. Total area – 10,222 ha, incl. 5,938 ha of agriculture land; 1,840 ha – forests, 2,444 – water and other land. There are 2 post-offices, 3 primary schools, 2 libraries, the church, 5 shops, 4 country tourism farms, Pikeliškės manor (which formerly belonged J. Pilsudsky), Liubavo manor (which formerly belonged to J. Slizny), Raudondvaris tower (built in 1824), the European Park Museum, the European centre landscape reserve. Main economic activities of the parish are agriculture and service sector.
Thispaper was prepared in the frame of the Bioenergy Promotion 2 which was co-financed by the European Union under the Baltic Sea Region Programme as an Extension stage project. One of the objectives of the project is to enter into a dialogue with public and private energy utilities and other market actors and to promote validation and “testing” of the principles and criteria for sustainable bioenergy production which have been developed in the frame of the project Bioenergy Promotion under the EU Baltic Sea Region Programme. The paper at hand provides a brief summary of key lessons of the Main stage project Bioenergy Promotion (2009-2012) regarding sustainable bioenergy production and consumption in the Baltic Sea Region and corresponding sustainability principles and criteria. In a further step selected corporate sustainability initiatives in the BSR have been assessed by the project partners. The findings of the assessment are presently compiled in a synthesis report and were discussed during a workshop together with representatives from energy utilities in the BSR and beyond on June 26, 2013 during the Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels.
These recommendations are prepared by the projct team of Lithuanian Energy Institute in accordance with the findings of international Bioenergy Promotion project and its extension stage Bioenergy Promotion 2. One of the objectives of the extension stage project Bioenergy Promotion 2 is to feed main stage and extension stage project results into key EU funding programmes being of strategic importance for the demo regions of project partners countries and for Baltic sea region as well. This includes operational programmes under the European Regional Development Fund, trans-national co-operation programmes under the European Territorial Co-operation Objective (particularly the Baltic Sea Region Programme) and programmes under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Recomendations are also addressed for Lithuanian national and regional authorities preparing operational programs and other documents related to administration of financial aid from EU Common Strategic Framework Funds in order to ensure that the principles and criteria for sustainable production and consumption of bioenergy will be more widely applied in the planning of regional, national and cross-border importance to actions and initiatives.
One of the objectives of the Extension Stage Project (ESP) Bioenergy Promotion 2 is to feed Main stage and Extension stage project results into key EU funding programmes being of strategic importance for the demo regions. This includes operational programmes under the European Regional Development Fund, trans-national co-operation programmes under the European Territorial Co-operation Objective and programmes under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). Bioenergy promotion and Bioenergy promotion 2 have the status of strategic projects under the Baltic Sea Region (BSR) Programme and of flagship projects under the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. The Central Europe Programme is one of the mainstream Structural Funds programmes under the European Community’s territorial co-operation objective. The programme supports trans-national projects working together for balanced and sustainable development of the European territory.
The purpose of the report was to give an overview of the corporate sustainability strategies/schemes in the field of bioenergy implemented by selected transnational and regional/local energy utilities operating in the BSR countries. The report synthesizes the findings of ten comprehensive assessments undertaken by the partners of the BP2 consortium. The focus of the assessments is on solid and gaseous biomass used in electricity, heating and cooling installations where no binding sustainability criteria have been adopted by the European Union so far. The case studies concerning selected companies/utilities follow a common structure based on a template that includes a brief company profile, key features of the corporate sustainability strategy and a set of specific questions on sustainability principles and criteria that are applied by a company for solid biomass used for energy production.
The final and signed version of the minutes
One of the objectives of Bioenergy Promotion 2 is to encourage public and private energy utilities as well as funding organisations in order to promote validation and testing of the P&C developed during the Main stage project. The project partners assessed existing corporate sustainability strategies related to bioenergy. The focus of the assessment was on solid and gaseous biomass used in electricity, heating and cooling where no binding criteria have been adopted by the European Union so far. This folder contains the corporate strategy assessments which were used summarize the key findings in a synthesis report (Report on assessment of existing/emerging corporate sustainability strategies in the field of bioenergy)
In contrast to biofuels and bioliquids, for which binding, EU-wide sustainability criteria are in place, the introduction of corresponding criteria for solid and gaseous biomass has so far been left to the discretion of member states. In the absence of binding EU-wide sustainability criteria for solid and gaseous biomass, several energy utility companies and grid transmission operators started to set up and implement corporate sustainability schemes on a voluntary basis. Several utility companies concluded voluntary agreements with public authorities.
The Council of Baltic Sea States Expert Group on Sustainable Development / “Baltic 21”, which is an associated partner in the project, is a key actor for disseminating policy recommendations among other transnational and national stakeholders in the Baltic Sea Region. In this co-operation three main activities have been carried out. In Stockholm the project organized two roundtables to discuss the project’s progress and results with the Baltic 21; and the project gave a presentation to an agricultural conference, co-organized by Baltic 21, in 2013 in St. Petersburg.
Several of the partner organizations decided to translate the lessons from the demonstration, awareness raising, mobilization and training activities in the demo regions (cf. chapter 4) and partly from the transfer and testing activities (cf. chapters 5 and 6) into practical policy recommendations. To this end they prepared monitoring reports and organized policy lesson workshops with policy makers, support scheme managers and policy advisory bodies.
Bioenergy production and use is among the priorities of several key EU funding programmes, including the national and regional Operational Programmes under the Cohesion Fund and the European Regional Development Fund, and the rural development programmes under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. However, in many of these national and regional programmes, sustainability principles and criteria for bioenergy have been included only to a very limited extent, if not marginally so far.
The most comprehensive transfer activity has been with the region of Latgale. This region borders the Russian Federation in the east, the Republic of Belarus in southeast, and the Republic of Lithuania in the south. According to the current administrative division, Latgale Region incorporates 19 counties.
The Grodno Region Forestry Board (PLHO) participated in the Main stage of the project as a project partner and continued to co-operate as an associate partner during the Extension stage. Although the Board had the official status of an observer, it actively took part in project meetings and conferences, and is highly committed to transfer the gained knowledge and expertise to the 11 forestry units which are part of the association.
At the outset, the Main stage project was fortunate to have the opportunity to join an existing bioenergy network in the county of Rotenburg (Wümme). The bioenergy initiative here was founded in 2007 and focused on biogas and wood-based bioenergy. For the wood biomass sector, a working group was established, with stakeholders from private forestry, forestry professionals, environmental services, agrotechnical service contractors and regional planners. In the Extension stage project, results from Main stage were also disseminated to other regions outside the demo region of Rotenburg (Wümme).
Bioenergy activity in the Kaunas demo region is funded by targeted EU structural funds and national programmes, and is driven by the initiative of district heating companies. Approx. 85 MW of bioenergy capacities have been installed in the region since 2010. Wood fuel is mainly used in households as the cheapest type of fuel, not only in Kaunas region, but in Lithuania as a whole. Further installation of large capacity wood-burning boilers in the DH sector would raise the price of firewood. This is unacceptable from social point of view because the purchasing power of the population is low, especially in the countryside.