China joins IEA Bioenergy Technology Programme

China has joined the IEA Bioenergy Technology Programme (TCP) to “usher in a new era” of bioenergy development in the country.

According to the organisation, China possesses significant biomass resources, which could be harnessed to produce sustainable bioenergy. The country has already made progress in this area, deploying bioenergy in the power sector, scaling up biomass heating solutions and increasing biofuel production.

IEA data shows that in 2019, China accounted for more than half of bioenergy additions in the power sector (4.7 GW) and it is the third-largest global producer of ethanol fuel. In 2018, biomass-derived heat and electricity accounted for around 186,000 jobs, with 145,000 in biogas.

Initially, China National Renewable Energy (CNREC) plans to join two IEA Bioenergy tasks: ‘Energy from Biogas’ (task 37) and ‘Climate and sustainability effects of bioenergy within the broader bioeconomy’ (task 45). Dr Paolo Frankl, head of the renewable energy division and the International Energy Agency, congratulated the IEA Bioenergy TCP on its successful efforts to strengthen technology collaborations with China.

Jim Spaeth, the chair of IEA Bioenergy, said that China is a county with “tremendous growth opportunities” in the fields of biopower, biogas, bioproducts and biofuels, stating: “We are delighted to welcome China as a formal member and look forward to their impactful contributions.”

China’s official membership of IEA Bioenergy’s TCP is a “milestone” in the development of bioenergy in the country, according to Dr Ren Dongming, director of CNREC, adding that China’s bioenergy industry has found the “best connection” with the global bioenergy sector. He said: “On the Bioenergy TCP platform, while learning from advanced global models and concepts, China can also share its own experience with international partners, to achieve mutual benefits and common development among member countries; as well as to promote the green and low-carbon transformation process of global energy.”

Dou Kejun, senior bioenergy advisor at CNREC, added: “Bioenergy is a critical aspect of building a beautiful China. China has actively developed biomass resources and issued a series of important policies on biogas, biofuel, biopower and bio-heating in the past two years. This is an important historic moment for China’s bioenergy.

“I think it is the right time to join IEA Bioenergy TCP, which will provide a broad international cooperation and innovation opportunity for China’s bioenergy institutions, effectively develop and utilise biomass resources, strengthen the capacity of bioenergy technology research and development and demonstration, and comprehensively optimise bioenergy industrial policy. It will usher in a new era of bioenergy development in China.”

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