Nordic Perspectives on Bioenergy

14 Apr 2008 Bioenergy plays an important role in the four Nordic countries – Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. It has the potential to contribute to securing energy supply, reducing GHG emissions, providing a cost efficient alternative to fossil fuels, offering business opportunities in technologies and know how. Although bioenergy has many advantages, with the increasing demand for biomass resources in Europe and on the world market, prices are likely to increase. Further, the increased use of biomass puts pressure on land use, biodiversity, soil and water resources. In a situation with conflicting agendas and interests, decision-makers are facing the difficult task how to make wise market pull and technology push policies for the bioenergy sector. The paper will present preliminary results from a study on how the Nordic countries address the challenges and opportunities of expanding bioenergy markets. The political framework conditions for supporting the bio-energy sector differ between the Nordic countries. Currently, there is no common use of actual policy measures and political framework conditions among the Nordic countries apart from complying with EU policies. All the Nordic countries have supported electricity and heat generation from renewable energy sources during the 21st Century to some extent. However, the national measures to support bio-energy differ between the different Nordic countries. Bioenergy for heating is a general political priority for all Nordic countries, whereas Sweden has been a pioneer with respect to biofuels. Whereas support measures differ among the countries, policies seem to converge in R&D in 2nd and 3rd generation bioenergy technologies, though not in the field of raw materials/feed stock. Birte Holst Joergensen
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