In the limelight: bioenergy’s role in renewables




Bioenergy’s contribution to the EU’s 2020 objectives is crucial. By 2020, bioenergy is expected to contribute to half of the EU’s 20% RES target. In 2014, bioenergy (107.212 ktoe) accounted for 61% of all renewable energy consumed, which is 10% of the gross final consumption of energy in Europe. Bioenergy is in fact the only renewable energy source able to provide green fuel for the three energy applications: heating and cooling, power generation and transport applications. Analysing each of these sectors individually provides a better understanding of the contribution bioenergy has to future European energy mix developments.





Renewables are often associated with power generation and transport. However, the heating and cooling sector remains underestimated, showing great room for improvement. Heating and cooling represents around 50% of total EU energy consumption, of which 82% is powered by fossil fuels. Renewables are becoming a key priority for EU policy, in buildings specifically. Bioenergy is currently the leading renewable in heating and cooling (88%) representing 10% of European gross final consumption of energy.








Traditionally, the electricity market has been more closely addressed by European regulations, allowing renewable energies to make up 27% of the market share. Wind, hydro and photovoltaics are leading the transition in the sector. With regards to power generation, bioenergy represents 5% of the overall EU generation (14.258 ktoe).







The transport sector has always been the most challenging for renewables in terms of market penetration. Renewables represent 5% of EU total energy consumption (14.669 ktoe) in transport, 90% of which is provided by biofuels. EU statistics on renewables in transport can be misleading regarding the actual production. As multiple counting rules are applied according to the RES Directive, figures are artificially increasing the renewables’ share in this sector by 0,9 percentage points (from 5% to 5,9%).







Want More Insight? 

All statistics featured in the following section come from the AEBIOM 2016 Statistical Report. If you want more insight do not hesitate to download the ‘Key Findings’ of the report (free of charge) and order a copy of the full report (consult the table of content of the 2016 Edition).

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First published in 2007, AEBIOM Statistical Report – European Bioenergy Outlook, has sought to provide European stakeholders with a comprehensive overview of the latest market trends in bio-heat, bio-electricity and bio-fuel sectors. The Full Report (200+ pages) gathers statistics, infographics and the most up-to-date data on the developments of the European bioenergy industry. The report is an important tool for the industry and for investors and policy makers to make informed evaluations and decisions. For more information, visit:

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