Lund, Sweden -- The EU has set itself a target to increase the proportion of renewable energy to 20 per cent by the year 2020. Over the same period, greenhouse gas emissions are to decrease to 20 per cent below 1990 levels. However, are the current European bioenergy initiatives sufficiently consistent and coherent to meet these targets? Niina Kautto is a researcher at the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University. “As it looks today, it’s unlikely”, she says.
Niina Kautto has studied plans and processes that concern the use of biomass for energy generation in eleven countries and eleven regions in the EU, including the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. The plans have been developed partly as a result of the biomass action plan which the EU drew up in 2005 and which aimed to encourage greater biomass usage for energy.
Niina Kautto’s research shows that some of the most significant shortcomings in the plans are that they often lack good quality figures of current use; biomass resources are often not estimated in a way that enables the figures to be compared. In many cases, it is also unclear how the national and regional targets contribute to the European targets. Another weakness in the plans is the follow-up and evaluation of whether the plans were effective and resulted in the targets being met.
“It may seem logical that follow-up and evaluation should always be carried out, but the fact is that they are often insufficient”, says Niina Kautto.
She proposes a range of measures to improve the plans and the processes that surround them. “Really, it’s about a simple quality management cycle, where a structured approach is taken”, says Niina Kautto. And: “Even if it may seem time-consuming, it is often worth the trouble, because a good process where everyone feels involved leads to greater understanding and then it becomes a lot easier to implement the plan.”
More information under lunduniversity.lu.se or Niina.Kautto@iiiee.lu.se. Quelle: Lund University