Projects » Renewable energy » Biofuels – regulatory framework

NL Agency - EU and US Biomass Legislation

NL Agency - EU and US Biomass Legislation

Client: NL Agency
Period: 2011

The use of biomass as an energy source forms part of the transition to a sustainable energy supply system. However, the large-scale use of biomass can have negative effects on biodiversity, the position of the poor, and food supplies, as well as negative climate effects. Regulatory developments, especially in the European Union and in the United States of America, have recently addressed the sustainability of biomass more prominently.

What are the main sustainability requirements imposed by the regulatory framework for biofuels, biomass for energy purposes and illegal wood in the European Union and the United States of America? That was the central question of a research report recently published by Partners for Innovation, commissioned by NL Agency.

Incomparable frameworks
Its main conclusion is that EU and US biofuel legislative frameworks are incomparable looking at the overall structure, definitions used, sustainability requirements, reporting methodology and reporting requirements. This means biomass producers exporting to both the EU and the US should investigate the requirements of both legal frameworks.

Furthermore, the report concludes that exporting biomass or biofuels to the EU is easier than to the US, due to additional administrative and reporting requirements. A third conclusion is that solid biomass for energy purposes, exported to the EU and the US, is confronted with additional sustainability requirements in legislation to prevent illegal logging. Biomass and biofuel producers using solid biomass therefore should  therefore pay extra attention to the additional sustainability requirements.

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