Open letter to Lykke Friis from the Danish Energy Association, the Danish Agriculture and Food Council and CONCITO.
Dear Lykke Friis,
CONCITO, the Danish Energy Association, and the Danish Agriculture and Food Council organized a biomass theme day on September 13, 2010 at Axelborg in Copenhagen. The conference drew more than 200 attendants from the Danish Parliament, regions and municipalities, the central administration, universities, and the business community.
The main purpose was to discuss what a plan of action for intelligent, efficient use of biomass in Denmark should contain. These contributions are now available to you and the Danish Commission on Climate Change Policy, as a comprehensive recommendation that a national plan of action for biomass be drawn up, as well as suggestions for the issues that such a plan ought to address.
Our recommendations must be viewed against the background of extensive changes occurring within the Danish agricultural and energy sectors in the next 10-15 years.
The energy sector is on the threshold of an earnest move away from dependency on fossil fuels. Cereal straw, biogas, and biomass will, along with wind power, be able to replace large amounts of coal and natural gas.
The Danish agricultural sector, which is part of the third-largest food cluster in the world, will have to play a central role in meeting challenges relating to food supply, climate and environmental issues, and renewable energy. This means that the role of energy supplier must be planned together with the role of food manufacturer.
In the short term there is a large, unutilized biomass resource in and outside the EU and in Denmark. Strategic prioritization of this biomass should be a key element of a plan of action for biomass. There is therefore a need for sustained funding of research and development of Danish biomass resources and related technologies.
In the slightly longer term the procurement of biomass in a sustainable manner and at competitive prices may pose a challenge due to rising global demand. Central to a national plan of action for biomass must be a way of ensuring that the utilized biomass is sustainable, i.e. results in an overall reduction of green-house gas emission, as well as protection of the functionality of ecosystems, and of biodiversity. Furthermore, production of biomass must be socially and economically sustainable, and must ensure the reuse of essential resources such as carbon and phosphorous.
In the long term biomass should increasingly be used in bio-refineries and in the energy production. The energy content of biomass must be upgraded, and carbon must be recirculated in energy and industrial systems to ensure sus-tainable biomass consumption.
In the attached memorandum, CONCITO, the Danish Energy Association, and the Danish Agriculture and Food Council recommend that the Danish Gov-ernment and Parliament draw up a national plan of action for biomass.
As evident from the memo, the three associations agree that:
1. Biomass can contribute to making the transport sector fossil-free.
2. There are unutilized biomass resources in and outside the EU and in Denmark in the coming years.
3. It is therefore socially sensible and promising to initiate the tran-sition away from fossil fuels, but important here and now to en-sure an effective and sustainable utilization of various forms of biomass.
4. There is a need for sustained funding of research and develop-ment of Danish biomass resources and related technologies.
We hope that you find inspiration in our joint contribution, and we look for-ward to being allowed to discuss our views with you.
Thomas Færgeman, Director, CONCITO
Claus Søgaard-Richter, Managing Director, Danish Agriculture and Food Council
Lars Aagaard, Managing Director, Danish Energy Association