Addressing Sustainability Risks of Bioenergy—Policy Strategies and Corporate Initiatives


This paper focuses on the sustainable use of solid and gaseous biomass for electricity, heating and cooling. It provides updated findings of policy analyses and corporate strategy analyses performed in the frame of BIOENERGY PROMOTION, one of the flagship projects under the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region. In particular, the paper highlights policies and measures which have been adopted by the EU and EU Member States to address environmental and social sustainability risks of bioenergy. Taking into account the conclusions of BIOENERGY PROMOTION, the paper identifies promising policy developments, but also shortcomings. On the Member State level, the paper refers to the examples of Germany and Poland. It illustrates how problematic policy priorities and policy malfunctioning in two sub-sectors (biogas from energy crops in Germany, biomass co-firing in Poland) led to undesirable environmental and social developments and how policies have been re-adjusted to mitigate sustainability risks. The paper also portrays a number of voluntary corporate sustainability initiatives which emerged due to the lack of a binding European sustainability framework for solid and gaseous biomass. The authors conclude that without a binding sustainability framework at EU level there is a risk of having a patchwork of potentially diverging sustainability regimes and initiatives across Europe causing market intransparency and insecurity for investors.

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Krug, M. , Rabczuk, G. and Cenian, A. (2015) Addressing Sustainability Risks of Bioenergy—Policy Strategies and Corporate Initiatives. Energy and Power Engineering, 7, 217-241. doi: 10.4236/epe.2015.75022.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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