The global biomass community gathered in Stockholm from June 12-15 to conduct business, network and discuss the latest developments and innovations as well as to discover the most innovative bioenergy applications from industry – and REHAP was there in force.

EUBCE is the most important international conference for the biomass sector, combined with a technology exhibition. For more than 30 years, it has been serving as the annual meeting point for biomass experts from research, development and the industry. With presentations addressing the latest technologies, the policy framework, and the medium and long- term strategies and potentials, EUBCE is the interface between science, industry and policy makers.

As such, many research projects were also present, with REHAP also on display. Insight Publishers, REHAP’s communications WP leader, was the Platinum Media Sponsor for the event and was able to use this opportunity to promote its bio-based projects. The REHAP poster was on display, while hundreds of project lea ets were also distributed. IPL’s William Davis and Sam Davis were also on hand to explain the project objectives to interested delegates.

And there were more than 1,500 delegates from 70 countries in attendance and, as the hosting country, Sweden ranked first by number of participants, followed by Germany and Italy. More than 850 presentations covering the entire scope of biomass value chains were given as well as two parallel events and five workshops conducted. As part of the event programme, a tour to Scandinavian Biogas Södertörn Plant was also organised.

David Baxter, Former European Commission, Joint Research Centre said: “The very strong message we all heard at the beginning of the conference was that replacement of fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) in the shortest possible time is absolutely essential. There is no time to lose eliminating fossil carbon emissions from the activities of human society. It is clear that all available alternatives to fossil fuels are needed and that biomass is an essential component in the transition to a 100 per cent renewable society.

“Hence the main theme of the conference,“The indispensable role of biomass”. While maintaining adherence to the principles of environmental sustainability it is therefore obvious that it is a question of how biomass can be utilised for bioenergy, biofuels, biochemicals and the wider bioeconomy and not whether biomass should be used at all.

“Strategies for the integrated use of biomass
within the widest scope of land use are essential. Appropriate technologies are already being exploited as we heard in EUBCE 2017 and research will continue to EUBCE 2018 and beyond.”

Henrik Hernrooth, Chairman of the Boards of Pöyry PLC and Chairman of the Climate Leadership Council, Conference General Co-Chair added: “I feel that we need to gradually move from sustainability debate into sustainable action. In order to define what it is sustainable we need better measurements of biomass. Biomass is visible from the satellite and it is an interesting carbon stock that we can now measure with proper tools. Much of the debate about future is about threats. We need to move this debate into a positive vision.”

Heinz A. ossenbrink, Former European Commission, Joint Research Centre, described his perspective on integrating renewable energies along eight Vs - Vision,Variety,Versatility, Vectors, Value, Vulnerability, Visibility and Victory - concluding that renewable energy could provide 100 per cent of Europe’s energy by 2042.

Gustav Melin, Managing Director, Svebio said: “In the last 10 years, we got three times more carbon assimilated in biomass than what is needed for one year global energy supply. So, I would like to give two messages to all scientists: stop talking about bioenergy as a limited resource. All facts show that there is enough biomass for all energy needs. Stop talking about non-food biomass: it is an irrelevant argument, there are always other reasons behind starvation than our capacity to grow food.”

Nicolae Scarlat, Technical Programme Chairman, European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Directorate for Energy,Transport and Climate, summarised the results of the conference into four take-home messages: “We need long-term vision, policy consistency and stability; we need transformation of the economy, not a marginal change; we need technology specific policies instead of technology neutrality; we need phase- out fossil fuels and keep fossil carbon in the ground.”

The 26th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition will take place in Denmark on 14-18 May 2018 and will include a technical tour. IPL will be media partners again and there will be free delegate places available for REHAP partners.