Over 250 participants at the 7th International Wood Energy Cocnference, held in Zagreb, on Friday February 24th, extensively discussed current situation in the renewable energy sources and biomass sectors. This year’s Conference was held under the auspices of Croatian Ministry of Environment and Energy, with presence of prominent experts and NGOs, among whom are Davor Škrlec, MEP, Eric Vial, European Pellet Council director, dr.Heinz Kopetz, World Bioenergy Association senior consultant, and AIEL‘s Board of Directors member Paolo Perini.
In the light of Commission’s Winter Energy Package, there is lively debate against bioenergy and fossil lobby on the role of bioenergy in the climate mitigation policy. Europe should phase out the use of fossil fuels by 2040 in order to comply with the targets of Paris COP 21, said dr. Heinz Kopetz, adding that, in the future fossil free energy system, bioenergy will play an important role to generate heat, electricity and transport fuels. We need to introduce excise duties on fossil fuels, as this is an established practice in the developed countries, such as Sweden, Kopetz concluded.
The EU macroeconomic deficit for fossil fuel imports amounts EUR 1 billion daily. Thus, it is necessary to change the energy policy in a sustainable way and encourage the development of new fuels and successful replacement of imported fossil fuels with renewables, said Croatian MEP Davor Škrlec. European Commission’s policy advocates excise taxes for fossil fuels, said Škrlec, warning that retroactive measures penalizing biomass, announced in Croatia, are against this policy.
The global pellet market is flourishing, with Europe at the forefront of this trend, said the European Pellet Council president, Eric Vial. We support CROBIOM and all of our members in educating public and dealing with misperceptions, and that bioenergy wellbeing will be woven into public policies in the forthcoming period, Vial concluded.
Series of technological innovations and the best European practices in the biomass and wood energy production mainly from Austria and from Czech Republic and Italy were presented. There is still investment wave in cogeneration plants in Croatia, and designers, investors bankers and companies discussed their profitability. Regional Energy Agency presented the EU funded project of establishing self-sustaining bioenergy settlements – BioVIll.
Croatian Wood Cluster and Croatian Biomass Association – CROBIOM, are organizers of the event, while co-organizers are Faculty of Forestry in Zagreb and Regional Energy Agency of Northwest Croatia. Many thanks to our sponsors: Burkhardt, Herz, Holzenergie Wegscheid, KBE Bioenergie/Kohlbach, Polytechnik, RENEXPO, Smart Heating Technology, Syncraft and Uniconfort.
Pre-conference activities included a study visit to the CHP Plant Pana Turopolje, in cooperation with the Uniconfort company, and a workshop on “The importance of biomass and rural development and strengthening the competitiveness of wood-processing sector”, whose leader was economic analyst dr. Guste Santini.
Croatian Wood Cluster promotes investments and inter- and trans-sectoral cooperation aiming to enable sustainable competitiveness of wood processing sector. Therefore, the central gathering of wood-processing, forestry and wood biomass stakeholders, the Wood Technology Conference, for the 14th time will take place in Opatija (Croatia), on June 5-6. Save the date!