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29th of November 2012

Biomass for Heat or Electricity – Are European politics guiding us the right way?

Author / Source: FNR

More than 50 participants took part in the lively discussions during the 4Biomass workshop in Brussels on 25. June 2012. Experts from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany and Poland discussed the topic of bioenergy heat in a panel. The workshop took place in connection with the AEBIOM Bioenergy Conference 2012. Many of the participants of the conference took the chance to take part in the workshop to hear about the experiences and results of the 4Biomass project.


Jan Habart from CZ Biom reported about a new support system for renewable heat in the Czech Republic. The results of the 4Biomass project were used to support the idea and underline the theory with actual numbers of biomass resources in the Czech Republic. Johannes Schmidl from the Austrian Energy Agency presented results from the stakeholder questionnaire conducted by the 4Biomass project. The results show, that stakeholders in all CE countries perceive biomass as the most important renewable to achieve the 2020 targets of the European Union.

Jan Habart

Adam Gula, Professor at the AGH-University of Science and Technology in Krakow in Poland, discussed with the audience the problems of co-firing of solid biomass in power stations in Poland. He questions the support of electricity from co-firing and proposes to rather support biomass for decentral heat generation in smaller units. He stressed problems of supply of sustainable biomass for large units, technological problems and the transportation of large amounts of biomass. Instead, local biomass should be used in small or medium-size units.

Nicolas Fevrier

Andrej Stanev from the Agency for Renewable Resources (FNR) in Germany requested to establish equal limits for emissions in biomass combustion throughout all Member States. Currently, each Member State has other obligations for emissions for combustion of solid biomass. He stressed the advances and experiences that Germany made in this respect.


The audience took part in a lively discussion on decentral use of biomass and the preference of solid biomass for heat instead of electricity. The participants did not find a common consensus. The subject is quite controversial and complex and needs more research to find an optimum of a limited resource.

Participants 2

During the panel discussion following questions were discussed:

  1. Is the use of solid biomass for bio-heat preferable to electricity?
  2. Should solid biomass primarily be used for heating in decentralised systems and individual households?
  3. Are those measures installed for bio-heat sufficient to reach the goals in the nREAPs in your country?
  4. How could the renewable heat sector be effectively supported?
  5. Solid biomass for energy: local use or global trade of biomass – which is more sustainable?
  6. What do European Biomass-stakeholders expect for the further development of bioenergy in Central Europe?



This project is implemented through
the CENTRAL EUROPE Programme co-financed by the ERDF