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Breaking Free: how bioenergy empowers communities to escape fossil fuel dependency

Date

13 Nov 2023

Sections

Sustainable Dev.

Brussels, 10 November 2023 – Today is the EU’s Bioenergy Day. Bioenergy Europe celebrates the successes of the bioenergy sector around Europe in helping communities to break free from fossil fuels.

“To secure the EU’s energy supply and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases we need to stop relying on fossil fuels for our energy needs. Bioenergy’s versatility, sustainability, and availability make it the cornerstone of Europe’s energy security and climate ambitions,” said Jean-Marc Jossart, Secretary General of Bioenergy Europe.

10 November 2023 is the EU’s Bioenergy Day. This means that, from that day on, bioenergy alone can fulfil the EU energy needs for the rest of the year. All EU countries have their National Bioenergy Day to highlight how bioenergy has empowered communities to break away from fossil fuels and save on the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG) and energy bills.

Over the past 20 years, Lithuania has transitioned from an energy system mainly depending on gas imports from Russia to one mainly powered by bioenergy. In Portugal, biomass from city green areas is providing affordable, sustainable heating to schools and helping public buildings in reducing energy poverty. In Romania, community-based systems ensure energy from local green waste while preserving and protecting the environment, creating local jobs and business opportunities.

There are many more stories like this from all over Europe that showcase the importance of bioenergy in the EU’s energy security and green transition. Today, bioenergy is the main source of renewable energy in the Union and is the only renewable energy that can be used for heat, electricity and transportation. As of 2020 it provides enough energy to heat over 15 million households in the EU, the equivalent to heating all the homes in Germany, France and the Netherlands combined.

In an era, fraught with geopolitical uncertainties and energy insecurities, the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy emerges as a strategic imperative for Europe's energy security. As we mark the significance of Bioenergy Days throughout the EU, the success stories of nations like Lithuania, Portugal and Romania stand as beacons of resilience.

“The shift from fossil fuel dependence to a bioenergy-driven model not only fortifies local economies but also shields nations from external energy vulnerabilities. Bioenergy's inherent versatility and local sourcing not only reduce reliance on imported fuels but also lay the groundwork for a robust and secure energy future,” concluded Jossart.

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