Press Releases Bioenergy outlook: untapped potential for EU’s energy transition

Bioenergy outlook: untapped potential for EU’s energy transition

Bioenergy outlook: untapped potential for EU’s energy transition 

Brussels, 17 December 2019 As the European Commission unveils one of its most important long-term strategy ever, setting the ambitious goal to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, and the international community reaches a mediocre agreement at COP25, we face the challenging task to re-think our energy system. To reach a 95% cut in emissions by 2050 in EU28, effective policies and measures guiding us in the right direction should be put in place.

Yet, despite several calls for action at EU and international level, we have seen very little political will to fight climate change. Since 2000, we are witnessing a languishing energy consumption trend. In 2017 fossil fuels were still largely dominating the overall energy mix. Even more worryingly, when digging into the numbers, we see that EU28 has increased its energy dependency to fossil fuels by 19% since 2000, reaching a staggering 57% in 2017.

Despite this dooming perspective, today the primary energy production of renewables is increasing within the EU28 (+131% since 2000). Bioenergy’s absolute contribution to EU final energy mix has more than doubled since 2000. In 2017 it represented more than 10% of the final energy mix, with all renewables together accounting for 17,5%. Biomass – and other renewables – are therefore key to reach EU energy independency and to achieve the much-awaited energy transition.

Looking at the broader picture in the realm of renewables, bioenergy is the largest single energy source accounting for around ~60% of all renewables. A versatile energy source, bioenergy delivers clean energy to transport, electricity and heat. It generates and ensures the largest amount of jobs among renewables, with more than 700.000 direct and indirect jobs in 2017. The sector creates local jobs for the whole supply chain (from feedstock to final energy production), fostering synergies between rural and industrial activities.  Thanks to bioenergy use in 2017, EU avoided the emission of 303 MtCO2eq : this represents 7% of the EU emissions, around the annual emissions of Spain.

In order to better understand our energy system and its challenges in today’s context, Bioenergy Europe launches today its 2019 Report on Bioenergy Landscape, diving into these and more issues, providing the reader with data on the general EU energy mix and the different energy sources in EU28, the role of bioenergy, the type of biomass, the distribution in the different final sectors, the socio-economic aspects, the GHG emissions and much more. Most figures are filtered by country, helping policy makers and investors to better calibrate their decision-making. This report is the last one of the 2019 series analysing the role of bioenergy for the energy mix with different sectoral approaches.

For those who don’t have time to dive into detailed figures, a short policy brief has also been made available. The two-pager includes highlights and a selection of graphs, providing an overview of the current dynamics of our energy system at a glance.


For the first time since its launch in 2007, the 2019 Statistical Report is split in 7 different publications, each one covering a different aspect of bioenergy. They are all made available online for free. Read more.

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