European Bioenergy Day was held on 8 November and is part of Bioenergy Europe's annual European bioenergy campaign. It aims to shed light on the increasingly vital role which sustainable biomass plays in the EU energy mix, especially when considering energy security. If all of Europe’s bioenergy was used continuously, it would be enough to cover all of Europe’s energy needs starting today until the end of the year. It is estimated that this year the EU could rely on bioenergy for 52 days. Since bioenergy makes up the largest share of all renewables, this means that for much of the year, the EU runs on fossil fuels.
When looking at the overall energy mix, bioenergy makes up 57,4% of all renewables and 11,4% of the total energy mix, which makes it a significant provider of renewable energy. The European Bioenergy Day campaign has, as its primary goal, the raising of awareness of the sector and is therefore sharing knowledge of the various feedstocks used for bioenergy and of how the raw material is processed and transformed into bioenergy. Ultimately, this all underlines the role that sustainable bioenergy plays in the EU energy transition.
During the course of the year, each Member State celebrates its own bioenergy day to showcase the day on which the country could begin relying on bioenergy for the rest of the year. In the context of the national bioenergy day, a success story of the corresponding country is published. In these stories, the people, projects, companies and actions that make Europe greener, more sustainable and less dependent on fossil fuels take the centre stage. This year, Estonia and Latvia were the first ones to celebrate their national bioenergy days – both of which could have run only on bioenergy for almost 5 months (144 days each) – followed by Sweden and Finland with 140 days each. For many countries there is room to grow, including for Ireland and the Netherlands, which will celebrate their national bioenergy days later this year in December.
This year’s motto is From Farm to Forest – using sustainable bioenergy to guarantee energy security and we are showcasing diverse examples, from small, local projects in Romania and Denmark where agrobiomass has replaced fossil gas, to new carbon removal technologies in countries like Sweden which supply district heating and permanently store carbon through bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS).
Bioenergy is known for its diverse areas of utilisation; however, this year many contributors to the campaign are focusing on the role biomass plays in the heating sector. This is a timely consideration, given the current need for affordable and secure heating.
The featured success stories paint a picture of the bioenergy sector in each of the Member States and illustrate how sustainable and renewable solutions work in practice. That is why this campaign has become an important part of Bioenergy Europe’s activities throughout the year, in the hopes that this year others will be inspired to switch to reliable and long-lasting solutions.