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Facts about bioenergy

“An enormous amount of nonsense” has been told about bio-energy, says André Faaij, scientific director of Energy Academy Europe and professor Energy Systems Analysis at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. According to Faaij, it is high time for the real – scientifically validated – story. “The bio-based economy is indispensable for our climate policy and can mean huge progress for agriculture and nature in developing countries”.

Bio-energy has acquired a bad reputation in many European countries in recent years, as André Faaij knows all too well. “There is this idea that as a result of the production of palm oil and wood pellets forests are being cut down, food prices are going up and people are starving to death. That’s a totally one-sided picture. It is deadly for the development of a sector that is crucial for the economy and the climate.”

According to Faaij, society should stop polarizing and face the facts. “Biomass is necessary and it can be produced and used in a sustainable way. We have to start looking at how we can achieve a sustainable bio-based economy. Not if, but how.” If we don’t do this, he adds, the energy transition will slip out of our hands. “The effect of doing nothing on biomass is to continue with oil, gas and coal.”

Source: Interview with Andre Faaij, The Energycollective, June 2017