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Forest bioenergy in Europe needs reassessment


Forest biomass production helps society to respond to an increasing demand for renewable energy sources, meet EU climate policy and renewable energy targets, and comply with international agreements on tackling climate change. It also supports regional policies in enhancing the rural economy and employment opportunities.

Forest biomass-based bioenergy can be a thousand different things. The forest biomass source and its management, the end products (heat, power, transport fuel), the conversion technology, the logistics, the environmental impacts, and the markets and opportunities to use bioenergy may vary significantly across the EU and across regions within countries. As a result, one size fits all policies are not optimal for enhancing forest biomass-based bioenergy development in a sustainable way.

Markets do not take care of the externalities (including public good and bads), and there are already policy failures and a lack of policy coordination, distorting market incentives.

On 18 March 2014, the latest ThinkForest event provided new insights on forest bioenergy to policy makers and stakeholders. In the event, a new ThinkForest brief “Forest Bioenergy in Europe: Reassessment needed” by Lauri Hetemäki, Bart Muys, Paavo Pelkonen and Davide Pettenella was launched. The brief points out that renewed assessments and policies as well as better policy coordination are needed. The brief is partly based on a report which reviewed five recent studies on renewable energy sources policy implications to forest industry and forest biomass markets with the focus on economic analyses of these implications. The report is available here.

Further information about the event is available here.
Download the policy brief here.

More information: Dr. Marc Palahí, ThinkForest Coordinator, marc.palahi(at)