Levelling the playing field for EU biomass usage
Edward Smeets and
Hans Meijl ()
Economic Systems Research, 2019, vol. 31, issue 2, 158-177
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 â€˜lower valueâ€™ bioenergy applications. â€˜High-technologyâ€™ and â€˜no bioenergy mandateâ€™ 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 sectorsâ€™ 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.
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