Bioenergy planning in European regions
Bioenergy planning in European regions

The following Energy guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Bioenergy planning in European regions
  • What is bioenergy?
  • Integration
  • Projects
  • Factors to consider in selecting sites for energy plants
  • Good practice
  • Opportunities and challenges

The European Union (EU) aims to reach 20% of its total energy consumption through renewable energy sources by 2020. Biomass, which provides a reliable energy source with a low carbon footprint, will have an important role in achieving this target, as well as in meeting the energy needs of communities, businesses and individuals throughout the EU. The Renewable Energy Directive set a target for the UK to source 15% of energy from renewable sources by 2020.

According to the former Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), bioenergy has the potential to provide approximately 30% of the UK’s renewable energy target. New bioenergy projects are set to increase in the next few years.

On 14 July 2016, DECC was merged with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, to form the new Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

What is bioenergy?

Bioenergy is broadly defined by the European Commission and the European Environmental Agency as:

'a wide range of products and by-products from forestry and agriculture as well as municipal and industrial waste streams. It thus includes: trees, arable crops, algae and other plants, agricultural and forest residues, effluents, sewage sludge, manure, industrial by-products and the organic fraction of municipal solid waste. After a conversion process, the biomass can be used as a fuel to provide heat, electricity or as transport