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Bioelectricity: A Critical Contribution to the Decarbonisation of the EU’s Energy System


08 May 2020



Brussels, 5 May 2020 – Bioenergy Europe launches the first chapter of its Statistical Report 2020 on Bioelectricity, providing an in-depth analysis of the role of the bioenergy in the decarbonisation of EU’s power grid.

While renewables account for 33% of the EU energy mix - of which 5,8% generated by bioenergy - 67% of the electricity in the EU is still generated by non-renewables such as coal, natural gas and nuclear. In addition, despite substantial efforts undertaken in recent years, the electricity’s carbon footprint in the EU remains high, reaching 292 gCO2eq/kWh in 2018 in EU-27. Worth noting a major disparity among EU Member States: many of them are still well above the EU-27 average, but countries such as Poland and Estonia are lagging with a carbon footprint of respectively 692 and 602 gCO2eq/kWh.

Numbers are clear: To achieve the full decarbonisation of its power system and its economy, the EU needs a strategic vision and concrete measures to support a profound change in Members States’ energy mix.

Only a combination of advanced clean technologies - that includes bioenergy – can ensure a stable and secure supply of clean electricity. Bioelectricity offers the advantage of complementing variable renewables, being a stable, flexible, and cost-effective source of energy.

Furthermore, bioelectricity is becoming increasingly efficient, with 71% electricity generated from modern combined heat and power plants (CHP). In comparison, electricity generation from conventional thermal sources CHP accounts only for 28%.

Effective energy mix should be prioritized through long-term political commitment and investments in order to secure stability of the system at all time. Bioelectricity and its possibility to produce on demand is a perfect match with wind or PV that are intermittent when the wind blow and the sun shine. Such network stabilization role should be more recognized. This should be coupled with adequate financial support aimed at efficient technologies and sustainable-fuel demonstration projects. The full market uptake of bioelectricity technologies represents a concrete answer to today’s challenges offering a viable and sustainable solution.

The benefits of a coherent and effective energy transition, which sees bioelectricity as a key piece of the puzzle are manifold: environmental benefits, secure energy system, but also ensure jobs creation and economic development at local and regional level.

Jean Marc Jossart, Bioenergy Europe Secretary General statement: “The economic recovery after the pandemic should be seen as a strategic opportunity. Financing instruments should be used to accelerate the decarbonization of Europe. Bioenergy is part of the solution to phase out fossil fuels, being technically mature, economically affordable and socially fair”.

Read more about the Statistical Report 2020 Download the Policy Brief


Giulia Cancian, Policy Director

Claudio Caferri, Communications Advisor