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Bioheat: Powering the EU’s Energy Security and Climate Action

Date

20 Sep 2023

Sections

Energy

Brussels, 20 September 2023 – Bioenergy Europe released today its 2023 Statistical Report Bioheat and its Policy Brief. The report analyses the state of play of biomass in the heating sector.

“With more than 50 million houses heated today by biomass, the sector is still growing, The EU should further support it through modernization and digitalization to make sure it delivers even more in terms of energy security and decarbonization,” states Bioenergy Europe Secretary General, Jean-Marc Jossart. 

The total bioheat consumption in the EU has increased by 76% from 2000 to 2021. The demand for bioheat from different sectors (households, industries, district heating etc.) is increasing, with biomass being perceived as a stable and reliable fuel. This is because most of the biomass used for bioheat is sourced locally, playing a fundamental role in EU energy security, and generating jobs in rural areas.

In 2021, the heating sector accounted for nearly half of the final energy consumption in the EU. About 73% of the total heat consumption came from fossil fuels. This shows how the decarbonisation of the heating sector is crucial, not only to reduce energy dependency, but also for a successful transition to a carbon-neutral energy system by 2050.

That same year, from the heating produced by renewable sources, bioheat made up the largest share, namely 83% (slightly more than 20% of total heating and cooling consumption). The related greenhouse gas (GHG) savings were around 162 MtCO2eq, nearly the total current annual emissions of the Netherlands.

The changes that the EU’s Fit for 55 (FF55) Package will implement through the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (REDIII), the Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) and the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) provide a unique opportunity to refocus the EU’s efforts towards the heating sector. Social and economic incentives should be introduced or strengthened to make biomass and other renewable solutions more competitive.

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