|European Union Carbon Market Glossary|
According to Article 3(31) of the Directive 2010/75/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on industrial emissions of 24 November 2010 (integrated pollution prevention and control - IED) ‘biomass’ means any of the following:
(a) products consisting of any vegetable matter from agriculture or forestry which can be used as a fuel for the purpose of recovering its energy content;
In the same manner 'biomass' is defined in Article 3(18) of Directive (EU) 2015/2193 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on the limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air from medium combustion plants (MCP).
Given that carbon released when solid biomass is burned will be re-absorbed during tree growth, greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) associated with biomass combustion are treated preferentially.
GHG emissions from using biomass for electricity generation do not fall under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), therefore biomass has an advantage over fossil energy sources subject to the EU ETS.
However, European Parliament Briefing “Biomass for electricity and heating, Opportunities and challenges”of September 2015 observes that EU ETS allowances in a price range of €15-25 per tonne may encourage the use of biomass as a fuel, but are too low to incentivise the construction of new biomass plants.
In 2013, the European Parliament and Council adopted a Decision defining accounting rules for GHG from land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF), as a first step towards the inclusion of those activities in the EU emissions-reduction commitment.
At global level, REDD+ Programme aims to address emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and to promote sustainable forest management.
The EU Renewable Energy Directive does not specify sustainability criteria for biomass, while setting such detailed criteria for biofuels.
In 2010, the European Commission listed non-binding sustainability criteria regarding biomass for electricity and heating, and recommended their adoption by Member States.
Sustainability schemes relevant to energy biomass are, in particular, the following:
- Sustainable Biomass Program (SBP) certification system for woody biomass,
- ENplus certification for wood pellets,
- criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management by Forest Europe,
- certification schemes for forestry products (e.g. FSC and PEFC).
The European Commission adopted a new EU forest strategy in 2013 addressing the use of forests for the purposes, among others, biomass and bioenergy.
Sustainability and greenhouse gas emissions saving criteria for biofuels, bioliquids and biomass fuels enshrined by the European Commission in the Winter Energy Package (Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (recast) COM/2016/0767 final/2 - 2016/0382 (COD)) included the draft rule that electricity from biomass fuels produced in installations with a fuel capacity equal to or exceeding 20 MW are to be taken into account as the renewable energy source only if it is produced applying high efficient cogeneration technology.
This provision, if adopted:
- would only apply to installations starting operation after 3 years from date of adoption of the Directive, and
- would be without prejudice to public support provided under schemes approved by 3 years after date of adoption of the Directive.
Moreover, it would not apply to electricity from installations which are the object of a specific notification by a Member State to the European Commission based on the duly substantiated existence of risks for the security of supply of electricity. Upon assessement of the notification, the Commission was granted the power to adopt a decision taking into account the elements included therein.
Directive (EU) 2015/2193 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on the limitation of emissions of certain pollutants into the air from medium combustion plants (MCP), Article 3(18)
Decision No 529/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on accounting rules on greenhouse gas emissions and removals resulting from activities relating to land use, land-use change and forestry and on information concerning actions relating to those activities
Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on sustainability requirements for the use of solid and gaseous biomass sources in electricity, heating and cooling (SEC(2010) 65 final SEC(2010) 66 final), 25 February 2010
|Last Updated on Saturday, 08 September 2018 12:54|