Brussels, 20 October 2023

The 11th Stakeholder Plenary Meeting of the ETIP Bioenergy, held on 27 and 28 September 2023, has proven to be a unique forum for the bioenergy and renewable fuels community in Europe. After the previous online edition in 2021 - and the last one held in-person   in 2018 - the return to a physical meeting in Brussels at the premises of the European Commission (Directorate-General for Research and Development, DG RTD) set the scene for a wide showcase of prominent initiatives and actors, enabling knowledge sharing and synergies among them. About 80 stakeholders across policy, industry, and R&D sectors joined the event and engaged in stimulating discussions on main developments, emerging technologies and crucial topics in the bioenergy and renewable fuels field.

This edition focused on the measures for accelerating the energy transition towards the 2030 targets. It was complemented by a workshop for experts on European citizens’ visions of bioenergy, led by Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD). The event covered two days and was structured around four prominent dimensions of the bioenergy and renewable fuels sector. The European policy landscape, the role of industry, and the Research and Innovation field were addressed in respective sessions. A new relevant focus was introduced on the societal topics concerning the energy transition, with a whole session dedicated to the social acceptance of bioenergy, which was further discussed in the expert workshop.

Bioenergy is confirmed to be a key asset to foster a sustainable and secure energy system in Europe and beyond. It holds a strategic role in the industry decarbonisation pathway, and in the mitigation of climate change. Framed into the wider scope of a bio-based economy, «bioenergy implemented through sustainable practices can contribute to optimize the management of bio-resources, not only making GHG emissions level decrease but also protecting and even improving biodiversity» claimed Dina Bacovsky (IEA Bioenergy).  The EU policy and industry framework concerning climate and energy shows positive advancements over the last two years, which are shaping a promising environment for the boost of bioenergy and renewable fuels in the European industry as illustrated by Maria Georgiadou, Senior Expert at DG Research and Innovation (RTD). However, securing the biomass availability is the key for the uptake of bioenergy in Europe over the upcoming years.

The European Industry is making great strides in the deployment and commercialization of advanced technologies for different applications. The Industry Panel envisaged several leading companies presenting their activity and their effort aimed to unlock the market potential of bioenergy and renewable fuels. Industrial deployment encompasses a wide range of feedstocks, processes and products, such as: the fast pyrolysis bio-oil obtained from sustainable biomass residues by the Biomass Technology Group (BTG), the BioTfueL® technology suite by Axens providing renewable diesel and SAF from non-food biomass feedstock, the WoodRoll® biorefinery technology based on biomass gasification deployed by Cortus Energy, the sunliquid® technology by Clariant for cellulosic ethanol production obtained from the conversion of a broad range of lignocellulosic feedstock. This industry session was animated by a final panel discussion on end-use aspects led by Philippe Marchand, Chair of ETIP Bionergy Working Group 3 (End use), focused on the aviation and shipping sector.

The Research and Innovation Panel was marked by the presentation of the updated Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda, freshly released by ETIP Bioenergy. The SRIA 2023 aims to identify important activities and focus areas that need to be considered in future research and innovation of the bioenergy and biofuels field, for enabling the value chains to reach their full market potential.
«Biofuels and renewable fuels of non-biological origin should replace fossil energy consumed in the vehicle fleet, and in market segments which are not suitable for electrification or the direct use of hydrogen» - concluded Patrik Klintbom - «Promoting renewable fuels does not mean competing against the electrification of transport, but rather supporting the phase-out of fossil fuel consumption».
Five European R&I projects dealing with emerging technologies presented their concept and main results. The clustering topics were biomethane production – the focus of SEMPRE-BIO and BIOMETHAVERSE projects – and aviation and shipping fuels production – addressed respectively in CIRCULAIR, REFOLUTION and CARBIOW projects.

«I am impressed by such a high level of knowledge and debate brought forward in this forum, both from the research and industry side» commented a satisfied Maria Georgiadou during the event. 

Improving the social acceptance of bioenergy technologies across European citizens is a key enabling factor, which was addressed in depth within the final session of the event. As raised by Radan Kanev, Member of European Parliament, a high share of the public opinion across European countries believes that bioenergy is unsustainable. Indeed, common misconceptions and unfavourable opinions about bioenergy in the general public are frequently underpinned by negative perceptions and feelings associated to the sector. «Even if you provide all the facts, you still do not address the emotional concerns» wisely stated Patricia Osseweijer, Professor at TU Delft and expert of societal challenges connected to technological innovation. The discussion was joined by Enrico Bocci, Professor at Marconi University, and Thomas Schleker, Senior Expert at DG RTD; the experts panel agreed on the urgency to eradicate the common perception that bioenergy is harming natural resources, and to commit for a transparent communication that can reinforce the public trust towards the bioenergy sector. The citizens visions collected across Europe through dedicated workshops and presented by CSD is an exemplary initiative for raising awareness, fostering constructive debate and nurture the relationship between technological development and society. 

«Bioenergy and biomass are complex issues, and we are committed to share knowledge. It is important to convey the social and environmental side of bioenergy, that is it can create job opportunities and increase biodiversity in our ecosystems» said Patrik Klintbom in the closing speech.
Maria Georgiadou agreed and reinforced the message:
«Sustainable implementation of bioenergy is a matter of morality. Supporting communities in living sustainably must be an ethical principle driving the action of the European Union». 

The resources presented in the Stakeholder Plenary Meeting are available at
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This press-release is produced on behalf of the ETIP Bioenergy by the ETIP-B2022-2025 project. The broad aim of ETIP-B2022-2025 is to enhance communications and networking among Advanced Bioenergy Stakeholders from research, industry, government, NGOs, feedstocks production, end use and related areas in all European countries. The contents of this newsletter are copyright © ETIP-B2022-2025.

Funded under the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 101075. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or CINEA. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.