SHANGHAI , 21 October 2015 – This morning in Shanghai 300 participants from over 30 countries attended the opening session of the first Asian Bionergy Conference and International Bioenergy (Shanghai) Exhibition. Co-chaired by prof. Zhenhong Yuan, Director of Biomass Energy Committee P.R. China and by Giovanni De Santi, Director Institute for Energy and Transport, Joint Research Centre European Commission, the opening session gave an insightful overview on the national and international policy drivers that are steering the development of bioenergy in Europe, Asia and worldwide.
“Recently biomass has attracted lots of interest in China, due the fact that it’s the only renewable resource that can be easily converted into electricity, heat and fuels”, Fangneng Zheng, Ministry of Science and Technology of China (MOST), said. “China has entered later than other countries into the development of technologies for biomass exploitation but now with the availability of favorable National policies from the Government it will be possible to implement a robust development programme. In the next five years, several new technologies will receive support, especially those for the utilization of biomass resources in rural areas and for the production of biomethane from biogas. MOST will be a leader in collaborative efforts for the development of a more comprehensive and more effective utilization of biomass for heat, power and liquids.”
Prof. Yuan said this conference will be a great platform for the Chinese biomass sector to share experiences with international experts and to learn about the latest developments for our industry, “I hope we will be able to hold such conference on regular basis and to use this platform to promote the development of biomass energy in China”, he concluded. “I hope that in this conference we can exchange experiences to find the better path for China’s biomass industry development”, echoed Li Baoshan, Secretary General China Renewable Energy Society.
“There are great opportunities for cooperation between EU and Asia in the development of bioenergy”, Giovanni De Santi said. Today bioenergy in the EU contributes to 60% of renewable energy and 9% of the final energy consumption. It will certainly continue to play a leading position in the future strategy for mitigating climate change, with Europe now committed to moving more and more towards a low carbon society. Last February the European Commission published its Framework Strategy for a Resilient Energy Union, setting an ambitious target to achieve secure, competitive and sustainable supply of energy. The EU is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030. “In order to achieve these targets, the whole spectrum of renewable energy technologies needs to be considered and for this, both the timing and the topic of this conference is thus very relevant” he continued.
Dongming Ren, Director, Center for Resource Solutions, National Development Reform Commission, introduced the new 5 year plan for the development of renewable and bioenergy in China. The new plan will address the key challenges of achieving a more balanced production of bioenergy at regional level, while at the same time closing the gap between the currently approved capacity for biomass power projects and the actual installed capacity.
The plan will also target a more balanced development in different bioenergy technologies. To date the major development in terms of capacity in China was experienced by the biopower sector, during the next five years a large market expansion is expected in the biogas sector, for the production of electricity but also for biomethane as a transport fuel. Biomass heating will also get particular attention in the next five years plan, with the target of substituting fossil fuels such as coal with biomass fuels in heating systems, especially in key utility infrastructures such as schools, hospitals and public buildings.
Mr. Ren remarked however that in order to achieve this, several normative barriers in the current policy framework for biomass heating still have to be removed. New standards and regulations will also be required to create stable legal conditions for biomass power generation, as well as for liquid biofuels for transport. In this field the plan will particularly target the use of cassava -a crop already grown for agro-industrial use in China- as one of the main feedstock resources to produce ethanol with traditional and advanced technologies.
Osman Benchikh, UNESCO, remarked the important role played by biomass in the global development scenario. Still today the level of energy use in developing countries is strongly correlated with human development indicators. Development and growth cannot be achieved without access to modern energy in these countries. Recently the UN general assembly adopted a new set of sustainable development goals. By including energy in goal number seven, it committed to ensuring access to affordable reliable and sustainable modern energy for all by 2024. In this context there is enough land for food and for a substantial amount of energy, Benchikh said and bioenergy will certainly play a crucial role in tackling the lack of access to modern energy especially in rural areas.
The conference continued with a series of technical keynote speeches introducing the latest developments in bioenergy research and development in Korea, Thailand and Malaysia, as well as in a key sector such as aviation, where specific liquid biofuels are the only alternative to fossil fuels.
The International Bioenergy (Shanghai) Exhibition and Asian Bioenergy Conference 2015 is the new leading conference and exhibition in Asia, an invaluable and influential international platform to discuss the role of bioenergy in the Asian context. A knowledge exchange on the latest scientific and industry results, developments in policies, and deployment and business that will enable the move towards efficiency and sustainability in the bioenergy sector. Originating from the EUBCE (European Biomass Conference and Exhibition) leading R&D conference, IBSCE serves as the Asian meeting point for bioenergy experts from research, industry and development, with presentations dedicated to bioenergy of the future, addressing the latest technologies and innovative materials, policy framework, and the medium and long-term strategies and potentials.
The IBSCE is supported by European and International Organisations such as UNESCO– United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Natural Sciences Sector,WCRE– World Council for Renewable Energy, EUBIA European Biomass Industry Association, EERA Bioenergy European Network Research Alliance, EUBREN European Biomass Research Network and further organizations. The Conference Programme is coordinated by the European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre and Biomass Energy Committee.
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