Bioenergy experts gather in Estonia


Chair of the IEA Bioenergy TCP Mr Kees Kwant addresses participants at the Bioenergy for the Future workshop held in Tallinn, Estonia on 13 April 2017 (Photo: IEA)

Bioenergy is the largest source of renewable energy today, providing heat, electricity, and fuel for transport. Despite this potential, bioenergy makes up less than 10% of global renewable electricity production and only 3% of transport fuel globally. Part of the difficulty in promoting the use of bioenergy lies in its complex supply chain, which spans a variety of economic sectors. Bioenergy projects require more careful consideration in terms of sustainability issues and appropriate regulatory frameworks than other low-carbon technologies.

Recogizing the importance of this issue, this week the government of Estonia announced its participation in the IEA Bioenergy Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP). It is the first time Estonia has joined a TCP since becoming a member of the International Energy Agency in 2014. The announcement was welcomed by participants at a stakeholder workshop on bioenergy in the Baltic region held on 13 April, hosted by the TCP in collaboration with the IEA and the Government of Estonia. The workshop brought together over 70 participants, including policy makers, bioenergy technology experts, industry representatives from Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Sweden as well as international experts from the IEA and other international organisations.

Workshop participants addressed the drivers for bioenergy market development in the Baltic region and considered policy options for untapping further potential. Discussions also informed senior policy makers ahead of Estonia’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which begins in the second half 2017.

Participants recognized that a concerted effort is needed to accelerate the development and deployment of advanced bioenergy technologies. National and regional bioenergy roadmaps can play a key role in assisting decision makers identify pathways that are tailored to local resources and priority actions to overcome economic and non‑economic barriers.

The How2Guide for Bioenergy, recently published by the IEA and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), is designed to provide policy makers with the methodology and tools required to successfully plan and implement a roadmap for bioenergy.

The IEA is also carrying out a new cycle of analysis on bioenergy technology and scenarios in light of new policy developments and in support of policy makers’ efforts to accelerate the transition towards cleaner energy systems. A new edition of the IEA Technology Roadmap for Bioenergy is planned to be released in the third quarter 2017.