Bioenergy Europe has released a statement affirming that, although it welcomes the EU's publication of the Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA), it regrets "a lack of strategic vision for the bioenergy industry and net-negative technologies like bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS)."
The Net-Zero Industry Act (NZIA) is part of the Green Deal Industrial Plan which aims to enhance the competitiveness of Europe’s net-zero industry and to support a fast transition to climate neutrality - by simplifying and fast-tracking permitting while supporting the scale-up of sustainable technologies.
The trade association said that the strategy presented in the proposal yesterday (16 March) marks an important step towards the swift upscale and faster implementation of renewable solutions together with carbon capture and storage technologies (CCS).
However, bioenergy's absence from the list of strategic net-zero technologies "shows a clear lack of vision from the European Union," it added.
The NZIA's heavy focus on CCS technologies overshadows the negative emission technologies and carbon dioxide removal technologies (including BECCS) that are necessary for achieving a net-zero industry in Europe, said the organisation.
"By enforcing the EU market for BECCS, many of these innovative projects would be quickly realised and would contribute to achieving negative emissions on a large scale, as seen with the leading EU-funded project BECCS Stockholm, which aims to remove 800,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every year in Stockholm alone," Bioenergy Europe said.
"The upscale support to BECCS is essential, as it would enable Europe to spearhead BECCS technologies at the global level, and further enhance bioenergy's leadership role among other industrial players."
It went on to say that the EU's failure to include bioenergy and BECCS as strategic assets - and thus deprive them of sufficient support - in the NZIA would "push EU-based bioenergy technology providers to outsource their production to non-EU territory".
There are over 50,000 business and manufacturers situated in the EU, and 800,000 jobs across the value chain - and such an event would weaken the EU economy and decrease its industrial competitiveness.
“The NZIA proposal focuses heavily on a narrow selection of technologies when it should also further support innovative carbon dioxide removal solutions such as BECCS,” said Ennio Prizzi, policy officer at Bioenergy Europe.
“BECCS is an industrial technology capable of capturing and permanently storing carbon; and is already a prominent, developed and cost-effective carbon removal solution that can achieve net-negative emissions. Without the right support, innovative CDR technologies would be a missed opportunity.”