Published Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Assessing sustainable biomass availability 

Dr. Ben Allen presented IEEP’s views on the sustainable use of biomass at the 5th International CelluLosic Ethanol (5ICLE) conference in Brussels, organized by the Directorate General for Energy of the European Commission. The presentation focused on how to assess biomass availability for growing bio-economy, drawing from lessons learned from past assessment studies and then moving onto setting out the key steps in making more robust assessments in the future. According to Dr. Allen the quantification of biomass availability alone does not provide enough information for effective decision-making. In addition to the estimates of availability, key components in understanding the true scale of the resource include understanding which types of resources are being considered, agreeing on a common view of sustainability, identifying whether suitable data exists, asking the right questions and finally understanding the context in which decisions are made.

The recommendations set out in Dr. Allen’s presentation originate from the Institute’s research on bio-economy, bio-resources and bioenergy. This research involves collaborative work between industry and civil society groups, cross-sector and cross-policy research studies, and work that looks to make the interlinkages between biomass-producing and biomass-using sectors. The most recent work in this area includes, for example, studies to scope out the potential for using land-use data to assess future bioenergy potentials, studies on land as an environmental resource and a review of international bioeconomy strategies.

For more information on our work in this area, please contact Dr. Ben Allen