EU Parliament to Decide Fate of Biomass Subsidies in Pending Vote

Part of the European Union’s renewable energy directive, the biomass amendments, will be subject to a plenary vote in the European Parliament on Wednesday (9-14-22). Three of the European Parliament’s largest political groups, the center-right European People’s Party (EPP), the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and the centrist Renew Europe, have backed the proposal to end subsidies for biomass used in power plants and exclude primary wood burning from the EU’s renewable energy targets.

Nils Torvalds, a Finnish lawmaker from the Parliament’s centrist Renew group, who is leading on the biomass proposal, in an interview with EURACTIV said, “Due to the subsidies, there are some member states which are cutting much more wood in a way that is not acceptable. And therefore, to end the subsidies is a first big step.” The Finnish MEP believes biomass subsidies were necessary years ago to help bring first-generation biofuels to the EU market but not any longer.

Bioenergy Europe, the industry trade association refuted those claims, saying the subsidies support the EU economy and create jobs for EU citizens. Irene di Padua, policy director at Bioenergy, said, “In addition, when comparing subsidies per unit of energy produced, biomass receives significantly less support than other renewable sources or fossil energy.”

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