Vienna, Austria — With 800 presentations by over 2,500 authors and co-authors, this year, the 23rd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition has marked the record number of 76 participating countries. In total, nearly 1,400 participants attended the EUBCE and, as the hosting country, Austria ranked first by number of participants, followed by Germany, Italy and The Netherlands. An impressive 30 percent increase in the number of participants from Asian countries also showed the growing interest for biomass and bioenergy in this region.
„This conference presented the newest R&D results and supported networking and communication exchange between researchers“, balanced Ingwald Obernberger, Conference General Chairman. As in the previous years, the EUBCE offered, in fact, a wealth of opportunities to promote business and commercial activities, with over 80 participants from 36 countries attending a lively match-making event and the 43 exhibitors presenting many innovative projects and advanced bioenergy products.
„The biomass market in China is still developing; this conference gave us access to the newest biomass technologies in Europe. At the exhibition, we found several interesting projects from all over the world to collaborate with. This event provides an excellent platform for knowledge exchange at international level“, said one of the member of a delegation from China University of Petroleum, Beijing.
„The European Biomass Conference and Exhibition confirms its global importance to bring the scientific and the industrial community together; permanent R&D activities, together with a stable regulatory framework supporting the market penetration of new technologies are two fundamental elements for all marketplayers,“ said Ingwald Obernberger, Conference General Chairman, during the Conference Political Opening.
„We need to put in place the right ecosystem of industry, researchers and policymakers and all of them are represented well at this conference“, added Vladimir Sucha, Director of the European Commission Joint Research Centre. He remarked that the European Union is setting up the very ambitious goal of establishing an energy union and one of the aims of this is to make Europe become the world leader in renewable energy technologies, including the sustainable use of biomass.
David De Jager, IEA-RETD, presented the opportunities for biomass offered by the application of innovative policies for renewable heating and cooling. Performance based incentives can wake up the sleeping giant of renewable heating and cooling, examples include the successful application of the renewable heating incentive scheme in the UK and of the SDE+ Contract for Difference scheme for electricity, heat and gas in The Netherlands. Policymakers can and should act now to implement these innovative policies to move markets along the deployment curve. In order to achieve this RES-H/C should be integrated into comprehensive, ambitious energy plans and in this context, biomass has a leading role to play by replacing oil coal and gas in boilers, decarbonizing high temperature district heating systems and by offering a trade-off with some energy efficiency measures at lower costs.
Paolo Frankl, International Energy Agency, introducing the panel debate on Bioenergy and Economic Growth highlighted that Renewable Energy is facing a difficult time because of persisting political uncertainties and because of the drop in oil prices. At this particular time, communicating the socio-economic benefits of renewable energy and bioenergy in particular assumes a crucial importance. „It is important to remember that there is no economic growth without energy security and bioenergy has an important role to play in this, but we still need to clearly assess the socio-economic impact of this sector. Today bioenergy ranks first among renewable energies for the number of jobs created, but we need a more systematic approach to keep this trend and to look at the role of bioenergy in the whole portfolio of renewables and the energy system in general.“
The final statement of the 23rd EUBCE can be downloaded under etaflorence.it.
Source: ETA-Florence Renewable Energies