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Fritsche U.R.,International Institute for Sustainability Analysis and Strategy IINAS | Iriarte L.,IINAS | de Jong J.,Swedish Biodiversity Center | Agostini A.,European Commission | Scarlat N.,European Commission
Natural Resources Forum | Year: 2014

Solid bioenergy from forests plays - and is expected to continue to play - a key role to fulfil the renewable energy targets at the European Union level. When the Renewable Energy Directive was enacted, sustainability criteria were incorporated solely for biofuels and bioliquids. Sustainability criteria for solid bioenergy are also needed in order to prevent wood and primary forest residues from posing additional environmental risks to ecosystems. Acknowledging this, the European Commission has been working on extending the biofuels and bioliquids provisions to solid biomass. An internal draft was circulated in August 2013 which addressed the ways to both balance and mitigate the risks in three main topics: biodiversity; sustainable forest management; and greenhouse gases. This paper presents a set of criteria and indicators, developed during workshops with experts from Governments, scientific institutions, businesses and NGOs, that may be considered by the EU to assure that solid biomass from forests is obtained in an environmentally sustainable way. © 2014 United Nations. Source


Pelkmans L.,VITO nv | Goovaerts L.,VITO nv | Goh C.S.,University Utrecht | Junginger M.,University Utrecht | And 10 more authors.
Lecture Notes in Energy | Year: 2014

As the main driver for bioenergy is to enable society to transform to more sustainable fuel and energy production systems, it is important to safeguard that bioenergy deployment happens within certain sustainability constraints. There is currently a high number of initiatives, including binding regulations and several voluntary sustainability standards for biomass, bioenergy and/or biofuels. Within IEA Bioenergy studies were performed to monitor the actual implementation process of sustainability regulations and certification, evaluate how stakeholders are affected and envisage the anticipated impact on worldwide markets and trade. On the basis of these studies, recommendations were made on how sustainability requirements could actually support further bioenergy deployment. Markets would gain from more harmonization and cross-compliance. A common language is needed as 'sustainability' of biomass involves different policy arenas and legal settings. Policy pathways should be clear and predictable, and future revisions of sustainability requirements should be open and transparent. Sustainability assurance systems (both through binding regulations and voluntary certification) should take into account how markets work, in relation to different biomass applications (avoiding discrimination among end-uses and users). It should also take into account the way investment decisions are taken, administrative requirements for smallholders, and the position of developing countries. © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014. Source


Elbersen B.,Wageningen University | Fritsche U.,International Institute for Sustainability Analysis and Strategy IINAS | Petersen J.-E.,European Environment Agency | Lesschen J.P.,Wageningen University | And 2 more authors.
Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining | Year: 2013

This paper investigates how different sustainability criteria restrict the supply of cropped biomass sources within the EU. There are already mandatory sustainability criteria formulated in the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) at EU level for biomass feedstocks to be used for conversion into biofuels. For solid and gaseous biomass feedstock, however, there are only recommendations formulated by the European Commission (EC) to be adopted on a voluntary basis by the EU member states (MS). This paper specifically focuses on the potential supply of biomass from crops for all bioenergy sectors when applying stricter sustainability criteria. These criteria relate to greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation targets, including indirect land-use change (iLUC) related GHG emissions, and the introduction of no-go areas, such as areas of high biodiversity value and high carbon stock. The results show that stricter criteria indeed reduce the cropping potential and change the crop mix significantly, as rotational arable crops for biofuels do no longer comply with the stricter mitigation criteria. This is because they usually compete with food and feed crops for higher quality land requiring a compensation for iLUC emissions. The stricter sustainability criteria can only be applied successfully if they are accompanied by a change in demand, in particular for lignocellulosic biomass for advanced biofuels and other bioenergy uses. Without stimulation of such pathways, it will be difficult to realize improved sustainability in the bio-energy sector. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source


Fritsche U.R.,International Institute for Sustainability Analysis and Strategy IINAS | Iriarte L.,International Institute for Sustainability Analysis and Strategy IINAS
Energies | Year: 2014

There is a strong interest in the EU to promote the bioeconomy sector within the EU 2020 strategy. It is thus necessary to assure a sound sustainability framework. This paper reviews international and European sustainability initiatives mainly for biomass for bioenergy. The basic and advanced sustainability indicators are identified and described with particular attention to those points without agreement between stakeholders. Based on the state of the discussion, some suggestions to enhance the sustainable development of the bioeconomy sector are proposed. © 2014 by the authors. Source

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