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Activities and results of the Task 3.3 – Policy assessment and strategy development


Work package 3 - Regional

Jul 01, 2011

Task 3.3 is led by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety in cooperation with the Environmental Policy Research Centre, Berlin. The main steps so far include an EU policy assessment, the development of a policy guidance paper and seven (draft) country policy assessments. The guidance paper contains mostly trans-national policy recommendations referring to the formulation and implementation of the National Renewable Energy Action Plans. Based on the paper resp. its draft versions committed project partners in Finland, Estonia, Poland and Latvia prepared targeted policy recommendations for national policy makers and policy advisory organizations in the frame of NREAP formulation processes.

Presently, seven country policy assessments are prepared by committed project partners. These reports assess to what extent national policy frameworks and support schemes consider and integrate principles and criteria of sustainable bioenergy production and consumption. Those reports provide valuable insights for national and (sub-) regional governments, but also to the EU Commission which - following its Report on sustainability requirements for the use of solid and gaseous biomass sources in electricity, heating and cooling in February 2010 (COM(2010)11), is currently analysing the need for additional measures at EU level.

 

Interim findings are as follows:


•    Among the BSR countries DE, SE and DK are most advanced regarding the transposition/ implementation of the binding EU sustainability criteria for biofuels and bioliquids.

•    None of the governments in the BSR has introduced or plans to introduce binding sustainability criteria/schemes for solid and gaseous biomass used in electricity, heating and cooling. 

•    Diverging government positions exist concerning sustainability criteria for solid and gaseous biomass used in electricity, heating and cooling: SE is against binding EU criteria for solid and gaseous biomass; DE, DK favour the extension of the binding EU criteria to cover all bioenergy carriers. Other countries have not expressed any official statements.

•    In most BSR countries the integration of specific sustainability principles and criteria into support schemes is in an embryonic stage the focus mainly being on energy conversion efficiency and resource efficiency (priority for using wastes and residues).

•    Some BSR governments differentiate their support schemes in favour of installations that achieve high energy conversion efficiencies (e.g. DE, FIN).

•    Most BSR governments rely on sector and context regulations (e.g. forest policy, Cross compliance rules) to promote sustainable bioenergy production and consumption.
•    There are several promising, but punctual policy approaches like TAPIO’s Recommendations for sustainable wood fuel harvesting in Finland, or special boni for cogeneration facilities, for the use of manure or landscape conservation material under the feed in tariff system for bio-electricity in Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act.

•    In Germany, sustainability principles and criteria are partly considered to amend existing support schemes for bio-electricity and bio-heat and remove misguided incentives of the past.

•    In Germany, sustainability principles and criteria are increasingly considered on a federal state and (sub-) regional level in the frame of regional support schemes, local initiatives etc.

 

Task 3.3 further supports a policy dialogue and capacity development for national and local policy makers. In March 2010 a trans-national Capacity Development workshops for policy makers was organized in Berlin in co-operation with the sister project 4Biomass. Two further Capacity Development workshops for policy makers will be held in Gdansk on September, 8 2011 and Poznan on November 22, 2011.

 

Task 3.3 Supplementary activity: Assistance paper for the EU Commission’s Public Stakeholder Consultation concerning sustainability criteria for energy uses of biomass other than biofuels and bioliquids


Under Task 3.3 a number of supplementary activities have been performed as well: a summary of key definitions found in the literature related to the sustainable production and use of bioenergy, an inquiry on national policy needs regarding the preparation of the National Renewable Energy Action Plans, and finally a paper providing background information and assistance to those project partners (organisations and individuals) which planned to participate in the EU Commission’s recent Public Stakeholder Consultation concerning sustainability criteria for energy uses of biomass other than biofuels and bioliquids.

This paper followed the structure of the EU Commission’s online questionnaire and provided references from completed and ongoing work in WP 3 Policy (e.g. report on sustainability criteria, policy guidance paper, EU policy assessment, draft country policy assessments). It also included background information and references from other studies, project reports etc.