Sustainable bioenergy: a circular approach to EU strategic autonomy and green transition

Mar 2021

On 23 February 2021, Bioenergy Europe organised an event under the umbrella of the #EUIndustryWeek, entitled “Sustainable bioenergy: a circular approach to EU strategic autonomy and green transition.” IEA Bioenergy was one of the co-organisers.

Almost 200 participants could learn more about industry and policy experts’ views on sustainable bioenergy across a variety of industrial sectors.

During the first part of the event, Luc Pelkmans (IEA Bioenergy) presented the perspective of bioenergy use in the industry, the decarbonization potential, and the alignment with decarbonization pathways of IEA. Eduardo Burgos (CIRCE) presented practical examples of bioenergy use in industry, with a particular focus on Horizon 2020 projects such as RE4Industry – 100% Renewable Energies for Energy which aims to support energy-intensive industries in their transition into renewable energy and prepare the EU industrial sector for this change.

Following the two introductory presentations, a panel debate with Anna-Liisa Myllynen (Stora Enso Wood Products), Carita Ollikainen (Valmet Corporation), and Mihkel Jugaste (Granuul Invest) presented among other topics the industry perspective on the use of sustainable bioenergy, highlighting successful examples of circularity, describing the challenges and opportunities for the complex bioenergy value chain, and how financial and legislative certainty can promote the ‘strategic autonomy’ of the EU industry, reinforce its resilience and contribute to the green recovery of the EU economy.

Some key conclusions:

  • Biomass is a key component to reduce the climate impact of industries, next to electrification, hydrogen & CCUS.
  • Industries need to take a long-term perspective, make real engagements and take concrete steps towards net carbon neutrality.
  • The main challenge for industry towards carbon neutrality is the low cost of fossil alternatives (if carbon cost is not accounted).
  • It is important to mobilize sustainable biomass supply chains. Availability and access to sustainable biomass (with due account of competing uses) are crucial to increase the role of biomass in industry transitions.
  • Brand owner market pull, as well as premiums for products with lower carbon footprint can stimulate the uptake of low carbon and biobased products, based on strong and credible green labels.

More information available here:


Presentation IEA Bioenergy: IndustryWeek_IEABioenergy_20210223_v2b