The threats of climate change, food security, resource depletion and energy security are driving society towards a sustainable low-carbon future. Within this paradigm, biomass plays an invaluable role in meeting the food, feed, energy and material needs of future generations. Current EU thinking advocates biomass for high-value materials, which is not aligned with EU public policy support for ‘lower value’ bioenergy applications. ‘High-technology’ and ‘no bioenergy mandate’ pathways explore market conditions that generate a more equitable distribution between competing biomass conversion technologies and competing biomass and fossil technologies. In achieving greater equity, these pathways ease biomass market tensions; enhance EU food security; improve EU biobased trade balances; accelerate biomaterial sectors’ output performance and favour macroeconomic growth. Moreover, an additional 80% increase in the oil price signals a tipping point in favour of first generation biofuels, whilst simultaneously boosting output in advanced material conversion technologies even more than the high-technology pathway.
- foresight study