Biomass is important

Biomass bodies welcome European Court of Justice ruling

May 26, 2020

In an article published in Bioenergy international ( and written by Alan Sherrard, the European Court of Justice ruled against a challenge to biomass being included in the Renewable Energy Directive (REDII). This is indeed good news as it paves the way for biomass to not only continue to become important in the heating and energy sector but also acts as an encouragement to those considering an investment into biomass CHP thus displacing fossil fuel usage. Green Belt harvests 200,000 tonnes of timber each year and up to 40% of this material is used for biomass. The private estate in Ireland will provide much of this material to utilities into the future provided the mobilisation of the timber from the private estate is encouraged and facilitated by the forest service. A strong new minister for forestry will hopefully make the wheels of the industry turn quicker than the current rate.

Quotes from the article are below which have been copied from the Bioenergy international website -

With this procedural ruling, the European Court of Justice clears doubts on the future of the EU’s largest renewable energy source. The inclusive work carried by the decision-makers and experts during many years of consultations, scientific debate, and evidence collection that led to the REDII sustainability framework is acknowledged as a solid approach.

We welcome the Court’s ruling, which removes unnecessary uncertainty over the future of renewable energy in Europe. Although this was a procedural ruling this was the right overall result, as the arguments put forward in the case had no value. The European institutions carried out an open consultation to gather scientific and environmental advice and considered these during the legislative process. The result was a revised Renewable Energy Directive that set out rigorous standards for the inclusion of sustainable biomass in the European energy mix, said Seth Ginther, USIPA Executive Director.

Since the early stage of the consultation, bioenergy industry stakeholders and trade bodies on both sides of the Atlantic have fully supported the introduction of sustainability criteria for solid biomass. These ensure that biomass is produced sustainably, irrespective of its geographical origin. If sustainably sourced and produced, bioenergy brings considerable environmental and socio-economic benefits.

As noted by forest economists, forest stocks have been increasing in the US Southeast because markets for wood products, like biomass, provide financial incentives for private landowners to keep investing in the continual cycle of thinning, harvesting and replanting trees.