Sustainable bioenergy and its crucial role in driving the green transition in industries

Brussels (March 9, 2021) – Webinar on “Sustainable bioenergy” at the EU Industry Week, organised by Bioenergy Europe in collaboration with the RE4Industry project.

The annual EU Industry Days together with the EU Industry Week (local events) are Europe’s flagship annual events dedicated to the industry play an important role in showcasing latest innovations to ensure Europe’s industries contribute to EU long-term energy and climate objectives while improving their competitive position. These events represent the main platforms to discuss industry challenges and co-develop opportunities and policy responses in an inclusive dialogue with a wide range of stakeholders.

In the framework of the EU Industry Week, on 23rd February 2021 Bioenergy Europe – the voice of bioenergy in Europe – hosted an online event, entitled “Sustainable bioenergy: a circular approach to EU strategic autonomy and green transition”. The webinar brought together almost 200 participants from different sectors and organisations to learn about innovative approaches to ensure sustainable bioenergy within the green transition.

Eduardo Cembrano Burgos (Fundación CIRCE) presented practical examples of bioenergy use in industry, with a particular focus on Horizon 2020 projects such as RE4Industry aiming at identifying the most suitable and economically- and technologically-feasible renewable solutions for energy-intensive industries. Two additional EU-funded projects, relevant for the sector, RETROFEED and BAMBOO, were introduced as well. In this context, the technical feasibility of developing such solutions from a circular and bio-based approach was shown, in different types of intensive industries. Either for the incorporation of alternative raw materials for their production processes (such as combustion ashes from biomass or organic waste), or for the substitution of fossil fuels by other renewable sources, such as biofuels from agricultural and forest biomass, or biochar. Besides, the need to involve the different key actors in the whole chain to truly achieve the intensive sectors decarbonization was emphasized: starting with the industries themselves, sectoral organizations, potential markets, political and regulatory entities, and also the European society.

CIRCE’s session followed Luc Pelkmans (IEA Bioenergy) overview on bioenergy use in industry and preceded a panel debate moderated by Michal Dlugosz and Giulia Cancian (Bioenergy Europe), including high-level expert of the sector: Anna-Liisa Myllynen (Stora Enso Wood Products), Carita Ollikainen (Valmet Corporation) and Mihkel Jugaste (Granuul Invest), who brought practical examples of circularity, challenges and opportunities for the complex bioenergy value chain, and how financial and legislative certainty can promote the ‘strategic autonomy’ of the EU industry, reinforce its resilience and contribute to the green recovery of the EU economy.

The local event, in partnership with the European Commission was led by Bioenergy Europe; among the co-organisers were IEA Bioenergy, CERTH – Centre for Research and Technology, WIP Renewable Energy, EEIP – Energy Efficiency in Industrial Processes, ETIP Bioenergy, FNR – Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe and the Horizon 2020-funded RE4Industry project consortium.

The recording of the event can be found below.

Background information: RE4Industry project

The project will aim at determining the most suitable and economically- and technologically-feasible renewable solutions for energy-intensive industries, together with the definition of an action plan for industrial decarbonisation pointing at transforming the EU industrial landscape into a large market niche for the uptake of RE, all the while defining the appropriate framework scenarios for short-term (2030) and long-term (2050) visions.

A comprehensive network of stakeholders and market actors (RE4Industry collaborative network) will be at the core of the project activities, as they will be responsible for the identification of sector needs, appropriate technologies, and barriers that might hinder their application, interacting at the same time with industry representatives for a continuous feedback loop. The effectiveness of this approach relies on a strong engagement strategy that will count with the support of an advisory board and in thematic panels organised in the framework of the collaborative network, whose objective will be to retrieve and share feedback on technology, processes, industry, sector regulation, markets, and societal perceptions. Policy recommendations will thus be elaborated.

The RE4Industry approach will be validated in 3 representative industrial use cases in 3 different sectors: steel, aluminium, and chemical. Partners will then work on the definition of a suitable exploitation strategy as well, to replicate the RE4Industry  innovation in additional sectors, all the while initiating cross-border knowledge transfer in multiple EU countries.

RE4Industry partners involvement

Bringing together expertise from 6 countries (ES, NL, GR, DE, BE, AT), RE4Industry consortium is a multidisciplinary and complementary group gathering expertise in energy, social studies, and knowledge transfer activities as well as with links and experience in the energy-intensive sector, retrofitting activities, and renewables.

Composed of 11 partners, the consortium will ensure a wide European geographical coverage in order to guarantee extensive engagement of external stakeholders and wide dissemination of project results. The companies and organisations have carefully selected to cover a specific role: 5 technological and social experts (Fundación CIRCE, BTG Biomass Technology Group, CERTH, WIP Renewable Energies, White Research), 3 renewable energy-oriented associations (Bioenergy Europe, Energy Efficiency in Industrial Processes, European Sustainable Energy Innovation Alliance) and 3 energy-intensive industries (SIDENOR, MYTILINEOS, CORBION).

EUagenda: link

Cordis: link

Categories: Press release