Germany’s proposed biomass strategy poorly received by industry

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The German government's national biomass strategy will identify pathways for 2030 and 2045, and focus on "how the sustainable production and use of biomass can serve as a building block for the necessary transformation of our economic system and, in the long term, for achieving climate protection and biodiversity targets as well as the energy transition".
The document has been seen by the Energate Messenger, which reported on these findings.
The strategy is based on findings from various scientific institutions, which have shown that the country's biomass potential is limited, but that demand will grow hugely in view of the climate targets.
If the sector continues to operate as is, biomass demand for energy use would outstrip domestic supply by 70% in 2030.
This would be 40% in 2045.
The biomass strategy's success is dependent on targets for wind and solar energy and a hydrogen drive to succeed, because biomass can only replace fossil fuels to a certain extent.
In the energy sector, the strategy outlines, among other things, using biomass for energy, especially at the end of the utilisation cascade: "So that it supplies energy in efficient processes, as flexibly as possible, where there are either no other options for decarbonisation or (as a bridging technology) to cover peak load demand."
In addition, biomass energy utilisation should increasingly focus on waste and residual materials that cannot be used in any other way.
The German government also intends to increase the fermentation of liquid manure from the current one third to two thirds of the available potential by 2030 and reduce methane emissions from biogas plants through structural measures.
It also wants to avoid so-called co-firing, which would affect coal-fired power plants that are to be converted to biomass.
Alongside this, Germany's government intends to promote the use of biogenic carbon sources, and, in the building sector, the promotion of biomass utilisation to generate heat is to be gradually reduced.
Gerolf Bücheler, managing director Berlin of the German Bioenergy Association BBE (Bundesverband Bioenergie), said the draft reads like a 'major bioenergy prevention strategy,' reported the Energate Messenger.
"Instead of utilising the opportunities and possibilities of bioenergy for a successful energy transition and ambitious climate protection, the draft is bursting with absurd ideas for new restrictions and additional regulations for biomass energy," stated Bücheler.
The German Bioenergy Association rejects "proposals such as the introduction of a CO2 price on wood in emissions trading, the reduction of first-generation biofuels or absurd ideas to miscalculate the greenhouse gas balance of biomass."
The bioenergy sector is still "waiting for a clear commitment from the federal government that domestic, sustainable bioenergy has a positive future and can continue to play its important role in the secure provision of renewable energy in the transport, electricity and heating sectors," said Bücheler.

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