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For one week Copenhagen hosted the global biomass community at the 21st European Biomass Conference and Exhibition. More than 1800 attendees from 66 countries discussed the status and the future of biomass for energy, materials and further bioeconomy applications in 360 keynote, plenary, oral and 400 visual presentations. These figures, compared to last year, show an increase of 15% in total attendance and a 20% increase in exhibition space making the EU BC&E 2013 once again the most important and stimulating international key platforms in Europe for knowledge exchange on the latest scientific and industrial results, developments in policies and deployment in the biomass and bioenergy sector.
“The bioeconomy offers a unique opportunity for growth and job creation through the use of knowledge in many fields such as clean energy and biotechnology”, said Anders Eldrup, Conference General Chairman speaking at the closing session of the conference.
“Maximizing the efficiency of utilization of our biomass resources is fundamental in order to achieve a sustainable bioeconomy” stated David Baxter, Technical Programme Chairman of the conference while introducing the main highlights of the EU BC&E 2013.
Forest carbon stock in the US and EU have increased over recent decades providing additional biomass resources. Furthermore, developments in traditional markets such as that of pulp and paper create more opportunities for bioenergy. The biomass potential is still largely untapped, however the actual availability of biomass feedstock might be much lower than the theoretical potential and some questions still remain open mainly concerning environmental sustainability.
Many advanced conversion processes are now in the stage of a large industrial demonstration phase or even an early commercial phase, i.e. 2nd generation biofuels, bio-oil from pyrolysis and torrefaction. Now that confidence to reach a commercial size has been achieved the main challenge is reducing costs factors. For this reason strong policy support at a European level will be crucial.