Biomass: wishes and limitations – a new interactive one-page website

14-11-2014 | News item

Today, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency launched  ‘Biomass. Wishes and limitations’ – an interactive one-page website on biomass, bioenergy and the biobased economy. Biomass is an indispensable resource for a low-carbon economy. But it is not without its problems: not all biomass use is sustainable. This tool is designed to inform a wide audience about the facts and uncertainties.

Biomass: indispensable but controversial

Biomass, in the form of organic waste, wood and agricultural crops, is often seen as one of the solutions for achieving a low-carbon economy. At the same time, it is a sometimes fiercely disputed one. Is it even possible to produce biomass without any adverse effects on climate, biodiversity or food supply?  When does biomass stop being a solution and become part of the problem?

Debate on biomass in deadlock

The debate on biomass is conducted by many parties with as many interests, and often in terms of ‘good’ or ‘bad’. In Europe, this has made it very difficult, for instance, to arrive at generally accepted sustainability criteria for biomass. Clear criteria are crucial to offer guarantees to investors in bioenergy. This deadlock in the debate is not only caused by conflicting interests, but also by a lack of in-depth knowledge on the matter. This interactive website aims to provide a wide audience with a comprehensive overview – not only of the facts but also of the uncertainties.