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Newsletter EUBIA
June 2018

Biomass Industry Newsletter: BE Sustainable Magazine
What's new in the biomass sector?

Want to know what you will find in EUBIA newsletter? 3 main sections and several articles

1-The EU Corner
2-The Industry Corner
3-EUBIA's Activities
Furthermore, EUBIA launched its new website, with a Wikibiomass section gathering scientific information on the biomass sector. Contribute on knowledge sharing and publish your article.
Contact us!

The EU Corner

Read about:
- An ambitious deal to place the EU at the forefront of renewable technologies.
- A new troubled EU budget.
- The future of the CAP.
- New study to reduce plastic waste.
- A ban against unfair trade practices in the food supply chain.
- News in one minute.
- Don't miss this: Mission Innovation Champions
An ambitious deal to place the EU at the forefront of renewable technologies 
An ambitious deal has been reached among representatives of the EU institutions on the RED II directive,  putting in place binding targets of 32% of renewables share in the EU energy mix by 2030. The agreement includes a review clause to revise these targets upwards in 2023, in case of substantial cost reductions for the production of renewable energy, or in the eventuality of new obligations from international climate change agreements. Following the approved text, high indirect land use change (ILUC) biofuels will be progressively phased out, and a certification process for low ILUC biofuesl will be established. The aim is to discourage investments for food crop-based biofuels production, while further developing advanced biofuels from forest residues, agricultural waste and manure from feedstock. First generation biofuels will be capped at the level consumed in each member state in 2020, with an additional 1% point allowed. The text also reinforces citizens’ right to self-consumption, including a ban on charges and fees on self-consumed energy until 2026. EU representatives also reached an agreement on the topic of energy efficiency, settling a 32,5% target to be achieved by 2030.

A new troubled EU budget

The EU Commission unveiled its proposal for the EU Budget for 2021-2027 which will have a €1,135bn budget. This MFF will be the first after Brexit,, and the Commission is pushing for a bigger and increased budget for a smaller Europe raising several criticisms. One of the point strongly opposed, especially by farmers, is the reduction of 5% for funding allocated for the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), with direct payments for farmers cut by 4%. 

The future of the CAP

The EU Commission presented its proposals for the future of the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy), with a budget reduction of 5% for the next multiannual financial framework (2021-2027). The renewed CAP aims at promoting higher environmental and sustainable standards in agriculture, and encouraging the development of rural societies. Furthermore, the Commission suggested a more flexible system giving more freedom to EU member States on the way to meet the common goals set at EU level.

New study to reduce plastic waste

In January 2018, the European Commission published its first European strategy on plastics and is currently working on introducing a new set of measures, regarding in particular single-use plastics and micro-plastics. A study published by Friends of the Earth Europe  and Zero Waste Europe, analyses a period from 2004 to 2014 and highlights that current policies are underestimating the environmental impact of plastic food packaging and how Europe could do more to tackle the plastic pollution issue.

A ban against unfair trade practices in the food supply chain

The EU commission unveiled its proposal for the protection of farmers and SMEs, which are often lacking bargaining power in the food supply chain. The initiative addresses unfair trading practices, as late payments from retailers, unilateral or retroactive changes to contracts and last minute cancellations for the order of perishable food products. The proposal suggests the settlement of national enforcement authorities to protect farmers and allow them to report anonymously unfair practices overcoming the fear of a possible retaliation from the buyer.

News in one minute 
  • EUobserver news: Norwegian parliament to adopt a new national budget including €29.5 million funding dedicated to Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects.
  • The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service CAMS) presented the European State of the Climate Summary at the European Parliament. 
  • The CIRCWASTE-project, focusing on the promotion of biogas in the transport sector, is a brilliant example of smart utilisation of waste streams and of waste-to-energy valorisation. Read more about it here
  • A leak reported by EUobserver states that the EU will fail in meeting COP21 commitments unless “the world economy undergoes a rapid and far-reaching transition”.
Don't miss this: Mission Innovation Champions
At the 3rd Mission Innovation Ministerial meeting a new program was officially launched: the programme Mission Innovation Champions. The aim is to identify individuals who are fostering the clean energy transition with innovative ideas. The deadline for the submission of applications is 10th September 2018.  
The Industry Corner
Read about:
- PNNL paved the way for ethanol-derived jet fuel.
Wood pellets in emerging Asian biomass market. 
- Veolia renews its contract for operating VESTA waste-to-energy plant.
- Neste, IKEA to produce biobased plastics at commercial level. 
- Unilever South Africa installs biomass boiler at its historic factory. 
- Bite-size news.
PNNL pave the way for ethanol-derived jet fuel
PNNL developed an innovative thermo-catalytic process to convert ethanol in alcohol-to-jet synthetic paraffinic kerosene (ATJ-SPK) paving the way for an increase in sustainable aviation fuels. This ground-breaking procedure was possible after the revision of ASTM D7566 Annex A5, allowing ethanol as approved feedstock for the production of ATJ-SPK. The new process can use ethanol from any sources, including several different low-cost supplies. Currently, PNNL is collaborating with LanzaTech to scale up the production process.
Wood pellets in the emerging Asian biomass market
Asia demand for biomass is constantly increasing and wood pellet will play an important role especially regarding South Korea and Japan’s expansion. Hawkins Wright carried out an in-depth analysis presenting demand forecasts and examination of feedstock resources on the Asian Pacific market. The results of this comprehensive research are published in the multiclient report “Strategic Assessment of Asian Pacific Biomass Demand and Supply out to 2030”.
Veolia renews its contract for operating VESTA waste-to-energy plant
Veolia has been selected in a competitive tender process, to maintain the management of the 180-gigawatt-hour-per-year VESTA waste-to-energy plant located in France. The company was awarded an estimated €116 million contract to continue to operate the plant for a period of other 6 years and half. The VESTA plant is designed to handle and recover household and assimilated waste collected in the region, and selling the output to the French electricity grid. 

Neste, IKEA to produce biobased plastics at commercial level

IKEA and Neste reached a major achievement in their collaboration, by becoming the first companies to produce biobased plastic from a fossil-free raw material at commercial scale. The use of renewable residues and waste raw material (like used cooking oil or sustainably-produced vegetable oils) to produce polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) plastic is a considerable step towards a fossil fuel future. In autumn, will start the pilot for a commercial scale production of biobased plastics. IKEA will use Neste’s sustainable hydrocarbons in its products, and the range of biobased goods will increase as soon as capacities improve.

Unilever South Africa installs biomass boiler at its factory

During the 2018 World Environement Day, Unilever South Africa unveiled a R50 million biomass boiler installed at its Maydon Wharf Factory in Durban. The biomass boiler will bring a 30% CO₂ emissions reduction, and contribute in the reduction of waste-to-landfill, and the amount of electricity used at Maydon Wharf. The boiler is fueled by wooden pallets, waste wood and off-cuts from local furniture and door manufacturers. 

Bite-size news

  • LanzaTech and Shougang Group opened a commercial facility to convert industrial emissions into ethanol in China. The facility began operations in May, and is the first in the world using anaerobic bacteria to transform waste into fuel ethanol.
  • Fluence will design its first waste-to-energy system for ArcelorMittal’s steel mill in Ghent (Belgium). The system will use anaerobic digestion for the production of biogas.
  • A group of Italian farmers is using special grown crops to generate electricity through anaerobic digestion.
  • BP published the report "Advancing the energy transition" promoting the use of natural gas to foster the energy transition. The research is based on the actual energy scenario and presents BP strategy to improve the renewables energy share.
  • The WTO is relaunching the negotiations on fisheries subsidies, to fight against over-fishing and illegal practices. The decision was taken by Roberto Zapata Barradas, new Chair of the Negotiating Group on Rules. 
  • The Germany company Sig produced a new 100% plant-based carton packaging: each box is aluminium-free, and its production use less CO2 and has a carbon footprint 72% lower than standard packaging.
EUBIA's activities
EUBCE European Biomass Conference and Exhibition 2018

2018 edition of EUBCE took place in Copenhagen (Denmark) from 14th-18th of May, and witnessed more than 1300 participants from 65 countries.Like every year since 2000, EUBCE hosted the ceremony for the EUBIA award, won by the Danish company NGF Nature Energy, for its contribution in the advancement of biomass market share.

2018 EU Green Week side event

EUBIA organised, in collaboration with EBA and Biorefine Cluster Europe, a side event called “Greening the gas grid for sustainable cities & communities”, which took place in Brussels on May 24th. The event presented an overview on the EU framework on biogas and biomass, and the latest updates from European companies and projects.

Fertilising products based on animal manure under EU directives
EUBIA, as partner in the Horizon2020 funded project AgroCycle, collaborated in the organisation of a workshop with the aim of discussing the topic of fertilising products obtained from animal manure. The discussion gathered together several experts in this field, and involved both the Nitrates Directive, and the newly approved Circular Economy Package. The workshop discussion resulted in a policy paper available here.

EUSEW 2018 – Architects’ contribution to the clean energy transition

The 2018 European Sustainable Energy Week took place in Brussels from 4th-8th June. This year edition focused on ways to lead the clean energy transition, and one of topics discussed was the role of architecture in the sustainable revolution. Worldwide known architects and representatives of EU institutions stressed how an effective regulatory framework from building efficiency is the precondition to attract investments and accelerate the sustainable transition.

Meet us @
AgroCycle mission to China
EUBIA, as partner of AgroCycle, is organising a mission to China, from 22nd-26th of October, dedicated to the topic “Agricultural waste and residue management for a circular bio-economy”. The programme includes 2 days of plenary conferences in Beijing (22-23 October) and three days of workshops, brokerage meetings and on-the-field visits.
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