The meeting was focused on policies needed to support bioenergy technology innovation, sustainability of bioenergy, as well as to discuss perceptions by civil society and policy-makers on the matter

Renewable Industry Advisory Board’s Annual Meeting

July, 29th, 2019

In early April, in Paris, the IEA´s Renewable Industry Advisory Board annual meeting (RIAB) took place. The Board, made up of a selected group of leading industry stakeholders from the renewable energy sector, was established in 2012, to enhance industry contact with the IEA and its Renewable Energy Working Party. While originally oriented towards the electricity sector, there is growing participation from bioenergy companies in the RIAB.

The meeting held in April was particularly relevant to the Biofuture Platform, as its focus was on innovation in sustainable bioenergy. There was active participation of multiple industry leaders, confirming the growing recognition for the key role of bioenergy, the overlooked giant among renewables, in ensuring secure and sustainable energy supply.

Discussions focused on the types of policies needed to support bioenergy technology innovation, on the sustainability of bioenergy and related perceptions by civil society and policy-makers. There was strong interest in the topic and considerable follow-up from selected industry representatives involved in the meeting.

There is noticeable convergence between the actions preconized by the industry and the Biofuture platform list of proposed Strategic Objectives. These are the key messages of the event:

– Stop-and-go policies should be avoided in favor of a stable, long-term policy framework;
– Policy harmonization and alignment should be promoted, and distortionary effects mitigated;
– Green/climate finance and bonds should be mobilized to support investments in modern bioenergy;
– Tailored support for innovation is needed, according to the level of novelty of the technologies and regional circumstances. Negative impacts can be mitigated by supporting a broad mix of innovative technologies; and
– More work is needed on sustainability, especially in terms of perceived risks, in order to improve social acceptance of bioenergy investments.