November 21st has been highlighted as a significant date for Europe’s renewable energy market. 41 days before the end of 2017, it marks the length of time Europe could in theory rely entirely on bioenergy to power it.
Named European Bioenergy Day, the symbolic event has been set up The European Biomass Association (AEBIOM), one of the associations representing biomass associations and bioenergy companies in the continent. AEBIOM created the day to show Europe’s progress in using more renewable energy, exemplified last month by the announcement from Germany that it slashed its carbon emissions by 77%.
AEBIOM also revealed more significant figures that showed Europe’s renewables energy market as a whole provided the continent with 66 days’ worth of energy this year.
AEBIOM’s initiative was designed to provide Europeans, many of whom the organisation said support the move towards more renewable fuels, with a clear understanding of what role the EU plays in the whole process. The campaign that will be relayed in over 20 European countries has relied on the support of 30 national associations and a 12 international trade federations. The European Bioenergy Day’s data is calculated based on the latest Eurostat data on the EU’s gross final energy consumption and AEBIOM’s estimations regarding the bioenergy and renewable energy share in 2017. The pictured AEBIOM pie chart estimates that bioenergy will represent 11% in 2017, while other renewables will reach a 7% share.
Though making it clear that for the remaining 299 days of the year Europe still relied heavily on fossil and nuclear fuels, AEBIOM said the 21st November landmark has been made possible since the introduction of the Renewable Energy Directive in 2008 – the European Commission’s policy for the production and promotion of energy from renewable sources.
“By creating an occasion to celebrate European Bioenergy Day, we want to recall everyone’s attention on an often-neglected leader of the renewable energy transition,” said Didzis Palejs, president of AEBIOM.
“Bioenergy represents a great diversity of mobilised materials and technologies that deliver plenty of overlooked social and environmental benefits. There’s room to deliver more, and to do so sustainably. We should all look forward to having the Bioenergy Day earlier every year, signalling a much-needed relief from fossil fuel consumption”.
AEBIOM’s latest findings come as the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food in Germany announced that, in 2016, the country’s use of biofuels allowed it to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 77% – a 7% improvement on the previous year. As a result of Germany’s commitment to using renewable feedstock to generate power, the country prevented 7.3m tonnes of the CO2 that would have been produced had only fossil fuels been burnt.
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