‘Modern bioenergy is the overlooked giant of renewables’, Mr. Adam Brown of the International Energy Agency said at the conference, quoting the IEA’s executive director.
In a week that saw the International Panel on Climate Change releasing its latest report, and the International Energy Agency published its 2018 Renewables Market Report, the IEA’s assertion was not out of place.
Thus, the scene was set for the 2018 Bio4Fuels Days. Taking the abovementioned reports as the starting point, Bio4Fuels center leader Duncan Akporiaye kicked the conference off by presenting the overall themes and the international climate policy context.
Audun Rosland, who heads up the climate change department at the Norwegian Environmental Agency, then presented targets and policy measures for biofuels in Norway, highlighting the future need for substantial biofuel production in Norway.
Mr. Brown continued by showing specifically how bioenergy really is a giant, making up 50% of the world’s total renewables consumption. Referring to the IPCC’s report and the current state of biofuel value chains, Mr. Jaap Kiel, representing the European Energy Research Alliance, underscored that time is of essence while also emphasizing that industrial implementation of biofuel R&D requires patience.
Francesco Cherubini, professor at NTNU and working with UNEP and the IPCC, gave a talk on the role of biofuels in climate change mitigation, reiterating the point made earlier, that biofuels remain a key component within a sustainable mitigation approach.
Before Odd Jarle Skjelhaugen of NMBU presented some findings on a study on effects of biofuel research in Norway, two industry representatives addressed the audience.
Niilo Oikarinen, a programme manager with Neste, discussed what’s needed to make biofuels profitable. Neste, which has been active in biofuels technologies for over a decade, sees that regulations, especially the RED II directive, may play a role in spurring the commercial potential of biofuels. Integration with existing infrastructure and and the use of low-cost sustainable feedstocks are also preconditions.
Alf Tore Haug of Elkem then showed how the company has prepared a biocarbon strategy as a step towards becoming a more “green” company, asserting that carbon neutral metal production is, indeed, possible.
Immediately following these plenary presentations and discussions conference participants paid a visit to Oslo Waste-to-Energy Agency’s Biogas Plant.
Doctoral and master students also had posters presenting their work within Bio4Fuels research topics.
The second day of the conference was a Bio4Fuels internal scientific seminar, with several plenary presentations as well as planning work sessions in groups.