European Biomass Association


Association european pour la Biomasse

European Biomass Association



Contact :

Sarah Cohen
Office and Membership Manager
European Biomass Association
Place du Champ de Mars 2
1050 Brussels
+32 2 318 41 00
VAT: BE 0871 481 553

March 2017

Co-ordination of energy-, agricultureal-, climate protection and fiscal policiesy


Dear Mister President.

In the past the European Union reached many achievements for the benefit of the European citizens. One such success is the introduction of a common European currency for 12 members of the Union. This result could be achieved thanks to a strong leadership of the European Commission.

On the other hand it has to be said that the European Union faces severe problems challenges in important fields of politics such as

- reducing green house gas emissions and thus complying with the Kyoto protocol,

- maintaining the security of energy supply by limiting the import dependency,

- presenting new perspectives for the European agriculture.

Unfortunately various publications of the last months show that the continuation of the present policies of the member states and the Union is not sufficient and lead to the following statements :

- the goals of the Kyoto agreement will not be reached,

- the energy import dependency will increase from 50% now up to 70% by 2030,

- renewable energy sources will never be doubled as proposed in the Commission White Paper on renewables (COM(97)599) and

- agricultural overproduction will go on in connection with the enlargement and the rather liberal trade policy, that undermines the community preference for agricultural products.

It is the strong conviction of the European Biomass Association AEBIOM , - the Association Europeenne pour la BIOMass consisting of 21 national Biomass associations - that these problems are closely intertwined and can only can be solved by an integrated concept, strongly coordinated by the President of the European commission in a similar way as this has happened in introducing the Euro.

Therefore AEBIOM proposes to set up a high level task force to integrate the policy of DG Transport and EnergyTREN, DG Agriculture, DG Eenvironenment and DG Ffiscal policy in order to better solve the problems in the fields of climate-, energy- and agriculture policiesy.

Based on the experience of the national bBiomass aSsociations, AEBIOM presents below proposals 3 actions to reach this for this integrated concept and arguments that explain the urgency of the topic.

Various publications of the last months show that the continuation of the present policies of the member states and the Union will make it impossible

* to reach the goals of the Kyoto agreement

* to prevent the increase of energy import dependency to 70% by 2020

* to reach a doubling of the renewable energy sources as this was proposed by the

Commission in the White Paper of 1997 and

* to avoid an agricultural overproduction in connection with the enlargement.

and the rather liberal trade policy, that undermines the community preference for

agricultural products


Therefore AEBIOM proposes among else the following actions


Action 1 : Climate-; use Ttaxation as strong steering instrument

The introduction of powerful steering instruments for reducing C02 emissions and other greenhouse gases must be given the highest priority. Such steering instruments in the form of energy or C02 taxes with exemptions for renewable energy carriers would promote the use of renewables and in the same time help to improve the energy conservation by savings and better efficiency. Such tax will greatly help to create the market for biomass while being in line with the polluters pay principle.

The case of Scandinavian countries where a CO2 tax has been introduced for many years shows that such instrument is powerful to

Examples in several member states show that C02 taxes of 70 Euro per ton C02 on fossil fuels for heating lead to a change of the heating habits of the population in favour of renewables.

Regarding liquid biofuels, Aa general defiscalisation of liqid biofuels would promote the introduction of these alternative fuels in the transportation market.

As energy taxes go up the taxes on labour should go down. If it is not possible to reach unanimous decisionity in this context it would be desirable that at least that a group of member states goes ahead in this direction and that the commission publishes not binding recommendations on this subject rather than reach an unanimous decision on a low level.

There are ways to implement a CO2 tax while maintaining the international competitiveness of the private sector.

Action 2: Agriculture and forestry-; Aa consisteant concept for energy from agriculture and forestry

Agriculture is expected to contribute to more than 50% of the objectives for renewable energy sources, according to the Commission White Paper.

However AEBIOM feels that the agriculture policy in the field of non food crops is not convincing to reach the goal. There is no objective, no plan, no accompanying measures, no specific policy as non food crops are only considered as a possibility to use set aside land. It means that energy crops are considered as marginal and not mainstream. It means also that the Commission is not aware about the significant role that agriculture could play in the field of renewables and CO2 mitigation. Will agriculture miss this opportunity ? Farmers need the full back up of the EU or they will never set in frankly.

The commission started a campaign for take off for renewables saying that by 2003 5 Mtons of liquid biofuels should be produced, an additional 1 Million houses be heated by biomass, 10.000 MW combined heat and power(CHP) be installed using biomass. In the future it will be necessary to multiply these goals of the campaign for take off in order to attain the goals of the White paper in 2010. Yet, there are neither sufficient proposals of DG agriculture to secure the supply of raw materials to reach these goals nor clear concepts of DG TREN how to create the markets for the bioenergy industry.

Therefore AEBIOM proposes that DG TREN should develope a market penetration program for bioenergy and DG Agriculture should develope work out a consistent concept for the supply of biomass, with the following features : in accordance with the targets of DG TREN

Such a concept could comprise

- Implement accompanying measures for information, education and training of farmers in the field of new opportunities given by biomass,

- give a possibility to farmers to change from cattle to energy crops, by adapting the premium schemes (cattle premiums on grass land converted into energy crops premiums).

-a reduction of the number of primes for cattle production,

-the payment of identical primes for energy crops on arable or pasture land,

-the increase of the biomass production of solid and liquid biomass in accordance with the creation of a market for renewables by minimum quotas for electricity, heat and transportation fuels,

-a secure a provision of the needed biomass be it( wood chips, rape seed, corn, etc..) or what ever, not dependent on the annual set aside rate,

- financial incentives for the processing industry to builds new installations to transform convert biomass to heat, electricity or liquid biofuels,

- and processing primes, if necessary, in the starting phase of these industries.

The proposed change in the tax policy would support the creation of the markets. Also the - reduction of subsidized exports of agricultural commodities in order to would help to increase the supply of raw material for the energy market.

Action 3 : Energy -; Better financial support for renewablesRES in the Union

Recently, the Commission published a Green Paper on security of energy supply (COM(2000)769). This paper contains proposals to spend Community funding money on strengthening the supply networks of oil and gas and of continuing the aid subsidies to nuclear energy. AEBIOM proposes not to spend public money for fossil or nuclear fuels but to use these funds for activities in the area of demand control and the development of renew able energy sourcesRES.

We fully support the initiatives taken so far by DG Transport and Energy is the field of renewables and we encourage them to go on in this direction. The most important challenge is the creation of a market for the bioenergy industry, especially in the field of heat which represents more than 50% of the total energy market.

As conclusion the interrelationship among policies underlines the necessity to develop an integrated approach to tackle future challenges. Taking into account that biomass, according to the White Paper on renewables, represents 80% of the growth potential of renewables it is obvious that only a concept, well coordinated between agriculture, energy, environment and fiscal policies can succeed in complying with the expectations of European citizens.


This paper is supported by the AEBIOM members :

1. Austria ABA, Austrian Biomass Association

2. Belgium BELBIOM, Belgian Biomass Association

3. Bulgaria BBA, Bulgarian Biomass Association

4. Czech Republic CZ-BIOM, Czech Biomass Association

5. Denmark DANBIO, Danish Biomass Association

6. Estonia EBÛ, Estonian Biomass Association

7. Finland FINBIO, Finnish Bioenergy Association

8. France AFB, French Biomass Association

9. Germany FIB, Federal Initiative Bioenergy

10. Greece HELLABIOM, Greek Biomass Association

11. Ireland IrBEA, Irish Bioenergy Association

12. Italy ITABIA, Italian Biomass Association

13. Norway NOBIO, Norwegian Bioenergy Association

14. Poland POLBIOM, Polish Biomass Association

15. Slovak Republic SK-BIOM, Slovak Association for Biomass

16. Slovenia SB, Slovenian Biomass Association

17. Spain ADABE, Association for extension of Biomass in Spain

18. Sweden SVEBIO, Swedish Bioenergy Association

19. Switzerland SBV, Swiss Farmer's Union

20. The Netherlands - NL-BEA - Netherlands Bio-Energy Association

21. United Kingdom, British Biogen

4) Climate policy is part of the energy policy

The problem of security of supply of energy and the high C0² emissions have the same roots: the excessive utilization of fossil fuels. Therefore strategies to reduce this utilization by curbing the demand for energy and increasing the supply of RES will help to alleviate both problems. This interrelationship underlines the necessity to develope an integrated approach to tackle these problems. Taking into account that biomass represents 80% of the growth potential of RES it is obvious that only a concept, well coordinated between agriculture, energy, environemnet and fiscal policy can succeed in complying with the Kyoto Protocol.


Association europeenne pour la Biomasse

European Biomass Association



JOSSART Jean-Marc Mr Romano Prodi

President of the European Commission

Croix du Sud 2, Bte 11

rue de la Loi 200

1348 Louvain-la-Neuve

1049 Brussels


Tel. and fax : + 32 10 47 34 55

E mail :

March 2001


Dear Mr. President,

The European Biomass Association - AEBIOM - would like to mention, that the decision to write this letter was the result of an intensive discussion in the last meeting of our Steering Committee, in which the delegates of many associations expressed their concerns about the slow development in Europe on the way to a sustainable society.

The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the security of energy supply and the avoidance of new agricultural surpluses after the enlargement of the EU will be decisive for the future living conditions in many parts of Europe. These areas of environment, energy and agriculture are closely intertwined and AEBIOM believes that new initiatives of the European institutions are essential.

Thanks to a foresighted and well coordinated policy the European Union succeeded in introducing a common currency in Europe. A similar effort of the European decision makers on all levels of government is now necessary to face new challenges.

Fifty years ago the treaty on coal and steel laid the foundations for the beginning of the European integration. Now it is time to negotiate a new treaty to develop a sustainable energy system for Europe based on the solar energy economy. By doing so Europe could exert globally a strong moral and technological leadership to direct the future of mankind.

This leadership can only be achieved if there is a strong political will and a clear vision on the part of the European institutions. AEBIOM hopes that the President of the Commission has the possibilities to influence the development in this direction.

Attached you will find a more detailed information about our views regarding the actions which should be undertaken. Should you want any further information, we are at your complete disposal.


Yours faithfully,

The President

The General secretary

Kent Nyström

Jean-Marc Jossart




Dear members,

The programme for personnel exchange in our project "Let's give the floor to farmers" is now finalized. This programme, open to all AEBIOM members, gives the possibility to support travel and subsistence cost for visiting biomass projects abroad. The visit should have a close link with agriculture. A more detailed explanation on this programme can be found attached, as well as examples of sites to visit.

You can publicize this programme among your members. If someone is interested, contact me.

I am of course available for any questions.


Jean-Marc Jossart


Universite catholique de Louvain - UCL

Laboratoire d'Ecologie des Grandes Cultures - ECOP

Place Croix du Sud, 2 Bte 11 (local C 101)

1348 Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium)

Phone and fax : + 32 10 47 34 55

GSM : 0478 77 36 09

e-mail :

European Biomass Association - AEBIOM




Association europeenne pour la Biomasse

European Biomass Association




place Croix du Sud 2, Bte 11

1348 Louvain-la-Neuve


Tél. and fax : + 32 10 47 34 55

Mobile : + 32 478 77 36 09

e-mail :

Project "Let's give the floor to farmers"

Altener XVII/4.1030/Z/99-092

Personnel Exchange possibilities

1. Framework


AEBIOM manages an Altener project entitled "Let's give the floor to farmers" for 18 months since August 1999. The project aims at studying the attitude of farmers towards identified and promising Biomass chains. Information about such chains is disseminated and a follow up organised in order to initiate new projects in partner's countries (Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Denmark, Slovak Republic and Bulgaria). A personnel exchange programme will spread promising experiences in Europe. Position papers will also be produced.

Description of the personnel exchange programme

The objective of the programme is to make local successful projects known at European level and organise visits in order to disseminate the concept/technology/know-how.

AEBIOM coordinates this programme which is open to all AEBIOM members and not exclusively to the partners of the project. A list of interesting sites to visit is firstly set up (see below) and sent to all AEBIOM members for dissemination to appropriate persons. Other sites might also be proposed provided there is a clear relationship with agriculture.

Persons attending the visits should have close connections with agriculture (farmers, farmer's organisation representatives, project developers.

Practical details

Persons interested to participate in this programme should send a written message to the AEBIOM coordinator with the following items: site to be visited, name(s) of the persons, date of the visit, total budget for direct cost (travel and subsistence costs with tickets as justification).

The visit has to approve beforehand by the coordinator and should happen before en January 2001.

A short report of the visit (1page max. name of attendees, place visited, output) in English has to be provided to the coordinator afterwards.

Financial aspects

The project will support 30% of the direct costs against original proofs of expenses. However the global budget for this programme should not exceed 21 000 EUR, or 6300 EUR of direct support.

2. List of sites to visit

The following sites are only examples of sites to visit and other projects might be proposed.


1. Biodiesel - Güssing

Description: a large biodiesel plant opened in 1992 where farmers process rapeseed oil into biodiesel fuel and cakes. The initiative is considered as a model for regional value added activities and the company has more than 500 members with an annual production of 600 000 l of biodiesel.

Location: Güssing, Burgenland

Name of manager: European Centre for Renewable Energy

2. Wood chips - Gm-nd

Description: 23 farmers formed a cooperative and a 3 MW chip boiler was built in 1994 to supply 120 consumers with heat, using a 7 km district heating network. The plant uses an efficient technology and is monitored automatically with a computer.

Location: Gmünd, Carinthia

Name of manager: Mr MöBler

3. Straw - Dodersberg

Description: cooperatives of 24 members supply straw to a modern heating plant (2,5 MW, 8,5 km heat network) with advanced control and regulation system. The automatic feeding system can load 500 bales without intervention (2 weeks provision).

Location: Dodersberg, Lower Austria

Name of manager: Mr Populorum.

4. Biogas - Neiderthalheim

Description: biogas unit owned by a very experienced farmer in that matter and producing 160 m3 of gas per day from 50 cattle. Cogeneration takes place with 500 kWh heat (40% used in the plant itself and 60% for farm building space and water heating) and 250 kWh electricity of daily production.

Location: Neiderthalheim, Upper Austria

Name of manager: Franz Aichinger

5. Biogas - Leitersdorf

Description: A joint biogas plant for 5 farmers using pig manure (equivalent 50 cattle) and biogenic waste for a production of 250 m3 a day and cogeneration (60 kW thermal and 32 kW electric).

Location: Leitersdorf, Styria

Name of manager: Mr Fiedler

6. Heat network - Mureck

Description: a 4 MW wood boiler managed by 8 farmers and providing heat to 120 connected households. In the same town, biodiesel production for electricity generation (200 kW and 500 kW).

Location: Mureck, Styria

Name of manager: Mr Totter, Mr Reiter Haas, Mr Weber



Description: pilot unit with short rotation willow coppice cultivation and processing on farm through gasification (down draft type) into electricity using a dual fuel engine (150 kWe). Automation of the whole unit is advanced.

Location: Braine l'Alleud (20 km south of Brussels)

Name of manager: Prof. Martin, Catholic University of Louvain

2. Miscanthus

Description: field trials of miscanthus managed by an association, which explores the ways to develop this crop in Belgium.

Location: Huy (60 km from Brussels).

Name of manager: Prof. J. Chapelle, SORGHAL asbl

Czech Republic

1. Straw

Description: a municipal straw boiler using Czech technology, capacity 2,5 MW

Location: Desna, Soth Bohemia

Name of manager: Jaromir Dvojâk, mayor of the village

2. Wood boiler

Description: municipal wood chips boiler, Czech technology, capacity 5 MW

Location: Rokytnice v Orlickych Horâch, Notrth-East Bohemia near from the Polisch boarder

Name of manager: Mr. Bubak, Director of the municipal boiler

3. Biodiesel

Description: Bionafta a.s. Midlovary, 12-15 000 T of methylester from rape per year, Czech technology

Location: Mydlovary by Jeské Budjovice, South Bohemia,

Name of manager: Frantiðek Vondrâjek - director



1. Willow vegetation filter

Description: units for wastewater cleaning on small scale (for one household), using willows grown as short rotation coppice (200 – 500 m2). The technique has been developed and such units are now spreading commercially in Denmark.

Location: Esberg, South of Denmark.

Name of manager: Peder Sandfeldt Gregersen, Universioty of Southern Denmark

2. Biogas

Description: Denmark has now acquired a very good experience on biogas production. Several plants using different technologies (Black Smith type, Soft Top type, and Soft Cover type) can be seen, together with reliable economic results.

Location: South of Denmark

Name of manager: several, according to plants


1. Biodiesel

Description: a tractor which has been functioning with raw rapeseed oil for 5 years. A testing bench for tractor's engines and a testing bench for spraying engines can also be visited. A local energy agency develops projects in the field of biomass.

Location: Morbihan, Britanny

Name of manager: Mr Petitjean, ADEME


1. Giant reed

Description: giant reed (Arundo donax L.) is a promising plant for high biomass production with environmentally sound crop husbandry practices. Trials can be seen.

Location: surroundings of Athens.

Name of manager: Ms Panoutsou, CRES

2. Cotton residues

Description: Burner of cotton ginning residues and production of steam. Use of the steam for cotton drying via hot air stream and for operation of an electric generator 500 kW.

Location: Davlia city, about 180-km northeast of Athens.

Name of the manager: Nick Joannatos.


1. AD Ballymacarbery

Description: Located on an organic farm, this anaerobic digestion plant (2 x 72 m3) is produced in modular form and supplies heat only at present. Material is supplied to the plant from 3 local farms. Compost is also produced. Heat is supplied to the plant and local dwelling house.

Location: Ballymacarbery, Co. Waterford (South East of Ireland)

Name of manager: Methan O'Gen/Vicky Heslop

2. AD Camphill Community

Description: Camphill community assists people with disabilities. Anaerobic digestion (1 x 160 m3, 1 x 490 m3), currently heat only production but CHP unit being tested. Compost production also. Material supplied from local farmers and aiming to digest food industry residues wastes also.

Location: Camphill, Callan, Co. Kilkenny (South East of Ireland)

Name of manager: Camphill Community/Christoph Eusterbrick

3.AD Carrigbyrne Farm

Description: Dairy farm with cheese production plant. Anaerobic digestion (200 m3), currently heat only production but CHP being installed. Compost generated and sold locally. Material supplied from on-farm slurries.

Location: Carrigbyrne Farm, Adamstown, Co.Wexford (South East of Ireland)

Name of manager: Paddy Berridge

4. AD Coleraine

Description: Utilises cow slurry and chicken litter. Anaerobic digestion (420 m3) was established in 1989 and gas is currently used in the digestor itself only.

Location: Coleraine, Co. Derry, Northern Ireland

5. AD Lisnasure

Description: Chicken factory waste, cow slurry and chicken litter are the sources for this digestor (420 m3). Gas is used in the digestor itself and to run a 25kWe CHP unit.

Location: Lisnasure, Co. Armagh, and Northern Ireland

6. Gasification - Derry

Description: Mr John Gilliland runs a large arable farm. In 1994 he began developing, with Dept of Agriculture, Northern Ireland, small-scale gasification system. A 100kWe system in now installed and there are 50 ha of short rotation coppice (willow) planted. First harvest took place in January 2000. Heat is supplied to the estate, to dry fuel and grain and electricity exported to the National Grid.

Location: Derry, Northern Ireland

Name of manager: Rural Generation Ltd./John Gilliland

7. Gasification - Tyrone

Description: B9 Energy are involved in wind and biomass energy development. This gasification unit (200kWe) is located beside a museum. It includes a fully automatic feeding system. Heat is supplied to dry fuel, heat the museum and electricity is exported to the National Grid.

Location: Tyrone, Northern Ireland

Name of manager: B9 Energy (Biomass) Ltd/Debra Jenkins


1. District heating - Stockholm

Description: 3 district heating plants (about 1-3 MW heat each) operated by farmers where Biomass comes from energy crops (willows) and forestry residues.

One larger district heating plant fuelled partly with willows. Ashes are going back to the fields, which are irrigated with sewage water using willows as vegetation filter.

Location: max. 2 hour drive from Stockholm airport

Name of manager: different persons according to project





Name of manager: