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Levelling the playing field for EU biomass usage

George Philippidis, Heleen Bartelings, John Helming, Robert M’barek, Edward Smeets and Hans Meijl ()

Economic Systems Research, 2019, vol. 31, issue 2, 158-177

Abstract: The threats of climate change, food security, resource depletion and energy security are driving society towards a sustainable low-carbon future. Within this paradigm, biomass plays an invaluable role in meeting the food, feed, energy and material needs of future generations. Current EU thinking advocates biomass for high-value materials, which is not aligned with EU public policy support for ‘lower value’ bioenergy applications. ‘High-technology’ and ‘no bioenergy mandate’ pathways explore market conditions that generate a more equitable distribution between competing biomass conversion technologies and competing biomass and fossil technologies. In achieving greater equity, these pathways ease biomass market tensions; enhance EU food security; improve EU biobased trade balances; accelerate biomaterial sectors’ output performance and favour macroeconomic growth. Moreover, an additional 80% increase in the oil price signals a tipping point in favour of first generation biofuels, whilst simultaneously boosting output in advanced material conversion technologies even more than the high-technology pathway.

Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1080/09535314.2018.1564020

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