Biomethane Industrial Partnership report recognises “urgency” of securing sustainable biomass feedstock
The report examines the untapped potential of cultivating biomass on marginal lands and contaminated lands across Europe.
While several biowaste streams remain untapped, the report emphasises that their full potential alone cannot fulfill biofuel targets.
Therefore, the cultivation of biomass on marginal and contaminated lands becomes crucial, it said.
This approach presents advantages, including preservation of nature, carbon stock increase and collection of sustainable non-food feedstock, according to the document.
However, challenges persist in defining and quantifying such lands, and the report aims to address them by reviewing existing definitions and giving recommendations.
The report delves into challenges such as land availability, productivity, agronomic practices and sustainability, particularly in relation to GHG emissions and carbon sinks, sustainable soils, biodiversity, water quality and quantity, and rural and socioeconomic development.
Acknowledging the impact of various policy instruments, the report calls for harmonisation of regulations, particularly in light of the Common Agricultural Policy, the EU Green Deal, the Fit-for-55 package, the recast of the Renewable Energy Directive and the Farm to Fork Strategy.
Key opportunities identified by the report include the need for low ILUC-risk feedstock certification, the revision of RED II Annex IX, and a focus on Sustainable Carbon Cycles.
These elements, when harmonised, can trigger new supply chains for advanced biofuels production and contribute significantly to achieving the REPowerEU target of 35 bcm biomethane by 2030.
Marco Buffi, scientific project officer at Joint Research Centre, co-chair of Task Force 3, said: “Sustainable biomass supply from marginal lands as severely degraded lands and contaminated areas is a key-player to provide additional feedstock for biomethane production to the recovery of biowaste and residues.”
Vincenzo Motola, researcher at Joint Research Centre, stated: “Recovery of degraded and contaminated lands can offer multiple benefits to bioeconomy and decarbonization, in addition to biomethane production.”