Levelling the playing field for EU biomass usage

George Philippidis*, Heleen Bartelings, John Helming, Robert M’barek, Edward Smeets, Hans van Meijl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-177
JournalEconomic Systems Research
Issue number2
Early online date1 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Bioeconomy
  • CGE
  • foresight study

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