Brazil and Italy prepare bioenergy technology action plan for Major Economies Forum
The Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF), representing the 17 largest economies, launched a Global Partnership at the COP 15 in Copenhagen to spur development and deployment of low-carbon technologies in response to the dangers of climate change. As an initial step, MEF countries have developed ten Technology Action Plans (TAPs), focused on areas such as advanced vehicles, carbon capture, energy efficiency, smart grids and renewable energy sources such as bioenergy. In all, these TAPs address roughly 80% of the energy-related global CO2 abatement potential identified by the International Energy Agency. Each of the TAPs contains potential actions for national leaders to consider, including the mitigation potential of the technology, barriers and best practice strategies to overcome them, and a menu of potential government actions to move towards best practice policies as appropriate to their respective national circumstances and priorities.
Italy and Brazil, considering their experience as Chair and Co-chair of the Global Bioenergy Partnership (GBEP), offered to lead the preparation of the Bioenergy Technology Action Plan, in consultation with MEF Partners. The report focuses on issues such as reliable feedstock supply infrastructure, improved conversion technologies and effective distribution and delivery of products. It also outlines barriers to bioenergy development such as high production costs, process integration and flexibility, feedstock availability and logistics, technology access and capacity, investment, trade barriers, institutional barriers, standards and sustainability compliance costs.
“Biofuels can potentially compete with conventional energy in terms of price and can enhance air quality in large cities while helping to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases,” the report states. “In addition, bioenergy can contribute to energy security and bring new economic development to agro-industry in tropical countries.”
The action plan identifies three main opportunities of accelerating the development and deployment of bioenergy:
Firstly, supporting innovation by
• identifying or fostering the establishment of international regional centres of excellence in bioenergy R&D and innovation networks that connect researchers and industry along the whole bioenergy value chain
• undertaking joint demonstration projects in ligno-cellulosic biofuels, integrated food and energy systems and other innovative bioenergy technologies or practices, including business models
Secondly, accelerating deployment by
• identifying the principles, conditions and institutional frameworks that will best facilitate the deployment of technologies for sustainable bioenergy
• establishing or enhancing frameworks for co-operative action to help shift from traditional to modern bioenergy
• undertaking joint technology transfer projects in proven bioenergy technologies
And, thirdly, facilitating information flows by
• considering membership of GBEP
• facilitating regional hubs and the sharing of information
For its part, Italy has said it is profoundly committed to the actions identified by the MEF and firmly believes GBEP is the key framework for ensuring implementation of clean technologies for sustainable bioenergy and achieving reductions in related GHG emissions.