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Heating, cooling sector decarbonisation potential “overlooked”, says Bioenergy Europe

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Bioenergy Europe has released the fourth chapter of its Statistical Report 2020, focusing on biomass for heat.

The latest chapter highlights the “essential, yet neglected” role of the heating and cooling sector in 2050 European carbon neutrality. The organisation believes the link between the sector and decarbonisation in Europe has “too often been overlooked”.

The report sets out several recommendations for policymakers, mainly focusing on prioritising European decarbonisation through a switch for renewable heating solutions, such as bioenergy.

Bioenergy Europe believes fossil fuel subsidies must be phased out and replaced with the promotion of biomass district heating. Additionally, the Renovation Wave must support and promote the replacement and modernisation of old and inefficient residential installations with high-quality biomass appliances.

The organisation said there is an “indisputable need” for higher renewable energy solutions penetration and increased energy efficiency of the heating system, in line with the provisions of the European Green Deal.

According to Bioenergy Europe’s Bioheat Statistical Report 2020, the National Energy and Climate Plans of European Member States sets the average renewable energy source share in the sector for 2030 at 40%. While it represents a major increase from the current share of 19.7%, the organisation believes that to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, the 2030 targets should be revised ‘upwards’.

In a statement on the fourth chapter of its Statistical Report 2020, Bioenergy Europe said: “An affordable, efficient, and readily available renewable source, biomass has proved itself to be an effective solution for residential heating, derived heat and industrial processes.

“The Statistical Report 2020 found that since 2000, it has grown on average nearly 3% yearly. Moreover, in 2018, bioenergy accounted for 85% of renewable heat consumption in Europe.”

The organisation believes district heating networks are of equal importance to smart sector integration, as they increase energy efficiency, but also allow access for low carbon sources. 99% of renewable heat in industry comes from biomass, demonstrating that bioenergy is fundamental in aiding industry’s transition to carbon-neutral energy systems, said Bioenergy Europe.

Read the report here.