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23rd of May 2012

Report from the 4Biomass Final Conference


Author / Source: FNR

The final conference of the project 4Biomass was held on the 21st and 22nd March 2012 in the Press and Visitors‘ Centre of the Federal Press Office in Berlin. About 70 stakeholders from the Central European and other European countries participated in the two–day conference.

The first day – The second Transnational Forum – was dedicated to presentations on the state of the implementation of the national Renewable Energy Action Plans in the Central European Area.

On the second day the presentations and the discussions focused on sustainable bioenergy projects and investments in the CE.


One of the speakers was Martin Bursik, the former Czech Minister for the Environment and former Vice President of the Czech Republic. He gave an overview of the current state of renewable energy policy in the Czech Republic, mentioned strengths and weaknesses and drawbacks as well as current promising developments. In his conclusions he suggested to understand renewable energy as an opportunity, not as a danger. Coal and nuclear plants should be substituted by modern decentralised renewable technologies.

Martin BursĂ­k
Adam Gula

Mr Adam Gula, professor at the Krakow Technical University presented in his speech sustainable and unsustainable bioenergy projects in Poland. He criticised the support of co-firing in Poland and questioned the sustainability of such a practise. In his presentation he gave examples of problems resulting from co-firing biomass with coal in Polish power plants. As an alternative, he proposes to use biomass primarily on a local basis for heating and cooling. Mr. Gula presented an example of a Polish straw heating plant. He pointed out, that local biomass plants do create jobs in rural areas, decrease the cost of heating and stipulate the local economy.

Mr. Jan Habart from the CZ Biom held a speech about a new support scheme for renewable heating for the Czech Republic discussed at the moment in the Czech republic. Currently most EU member states support primarily renewable electricity. The Czech policy approach would support renewable heat to a price level which is competitive to heat from coal. The new scheme will help to reach the renewable energy targets at reduced costs. It will also lead to reductions of coal boilers and reduce CO2 emissions.

Jan Habart
Istvan Kszab

Mr. Istvan Kszab presented the concept of his company Szuro Trade Group in Hungary. His intention was to emphasise the sustainable exploitation of woody biomass by optimising the use of available biomass in a whole complex of activities.

During the conference the members of the Transnational Advisory Group signed the Joint Declaration to take the recommendations collected by the 4Biomass project partners and published in a Transnational Action plan into consideration for their work. The Transnational Action Plan gives advice on sustainable bioenergy measures throughout Central Europe. It is directed at policy makers and implementing agencies involved in the decision making process in the field of bioenergy. The recommendations were presented during the conference by Sybille Tempel in her presentation.

TAG
pannel

After the presentations a panel of speakers of the day discussed the question of the need of an integrated and coordinated bioenergy policy for Central Europe. Most of the participants agreed that a higher level of coordination would be preferable for a sustainable biomass trade, however it was also emphasised that the national markets should be considered and developed first. Differences in national resources and infrastructures mean differnet needs for national policy frameworks. Nevertheless, an exchange of experience i.e. of failures in the case of the Czech Republic or successes in case of Austria is useful.

The members of the Advisory group discussed results of the project as well as future activities with 4Biomass partners. The members of the Advisory group were regularly consulted on and their comments and contributions were used by project partners to improve the quality of the project outputs. On the other hand, the TAG members could use the project results in their own work.

Lutz Mez - Petr Tluka
Audience

The audience took part in the discussions of the panel session. The feed back of participants and speakers has been very positive. The presentations are available at the 4Biomass website for download.

The participants used the breaks between the sessions for intense networking. Business representatives from all over Central and Eastern Europe took the opportunity to find new contacts.

Istvan Kaszab
corridors

“The conference has been a great conclusion of the project 4Biomass. Our intent has been to evoke discussion about the project, its goals and biomass use in CE in general. This has been the case not only directly after the presentations, but many participants took part in panel discussions and continued with the discussion even while networking in the corridors. We have thoroughly positive feedback from the participants regarding the conference itself and generally the project and its goals, which were formulated into the Transnational Action Plan,” summed up the Head of foreign relations of Czech Biomass Association Mr. Petr Tluka.



The full report in pdf can be viewed here.


eu

eu2

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