The role of sustainability requirements in international bioenergy markets
Journal article, 2014

As the main driver for bioenergy is to enable society to transform to more sustainable fuel and energy production systems, it is important to safeguard that bioenergy deployment happens within certain sustainability constraints. There is currently a high number of initiatives, including binding regulations and several voluntary sustainability standards for biomass, bioenergy and/or biofuels. Within IEA Bioenergy studies were performed to monitor the actual implementation process of sustainability regulations and certification, evaluate how stakeholders are affected and envisage the anticipated impact on worldwide markets and trade. On the basis of these studies, recommendations were made on how sustainability requirements could actually support further bioenergy deployment. Markets would gain from more harmonization and cross-compliance. A common language is needed as 'sustainability' of biomass involves different policy arenas and legal settings. Policy pathways should be clear and predictable, and future revisions of sustainability requirements should be open and transparent. Sustainability assurance systems (both through binding regulations and voluntary certification) should take into account how markets work, in relation to different biomass applications (avoiding discrimination among end-uses and users). It should also take into account the way investment decisions are taken, administrative requirements for smallholders, and the position of developing countries.


Luc Pelkmans

Project Manager Biomass and Bioenergy

L Goovaerts

Unit Separation and Conversion Processes

S C Goh

Utrecht University

M Junginger

Utrecht University

J van Dam

Jinke van Dam Consultancy

I Stupak

University of Copenhagen

C T Smith

University of Toronto

H Chum

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Oskar Englund

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

Göran Berndes

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Physical Resource Theory

A Cowie

University of New England

E Thiffault

Canadian Forest Service - Laurentian Forestry Centre

U Fritsche

International Institute for Sustainability Analysis and Strategy (IINAS)

D Thrän

German Biomass Research Centre (DBFZ)

Lecture Notes in Energy

2195-1284 (ISSN) 2195-1292 (eISSN)

Vol. 17 1 125-149

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance



Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Renewable Bioenergy Research

Energy Systems



More information

Latest update

8/7/2023 1