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Chapter 1.0:


Country research commitments, laws and regulations and the support mechanisms that are in place reflect the interest that they have in the sector of bioenergy. Consequently, to understand deeply the interests that European countries have in bioenergy it is necessary to understand local, national, and European policies, which are as a matter of fact the framework within which objectives and targets are set. They are implemented through a large number of mechanisms such as regulation, taxation, grants, and subsidies. Policies likewise determine the direction and scale of research and development programmes.


Policies, strategies, and projects concerning biomass system have been largely planned, designed, and set by decision-makers not only at a European level, but also at national and regional levels. Policies need to include adequate legislation and regulation in order to ensure sustainable production; marketing and use of wood as fuel1 ( see ANNEX 1).

To support the market for renewable energy, many countries have adjusted their policy frameworks in order to promote increased market penetration of RE technologies and the development of an RE manufacturing and service industry.

1.2.1. At European level

1.2.2. At National level

1.2.3. At Regional level


All over the Europe, a large number of public and private actors are involved in the development, implementation and monitoring of policies, strategies and projects concerning wood energy. In order to successfully implement such policies and strategies, emphasis should be given to the proper planning, promotion, management; evaluation and monitoring of said projects.

In some countries (such as Finland and Sweden) most programmes are set by the parliament and government, but more often programmes and activity decisions are made by ministries, dedicated agencies, intermediate management structures and the research organisations themselves.

The relationship between industry and government is crucial and government strategies, data collection and fiscal incentives, information and administrative support are essential to overcome non-technical barriers such as tax systems and regulations, lack of specifications for heating system, lack of communication and public acceptability. Utilities are also important because they invest in many RE technologies and because they purchase the electricity generated from independent producers2. More details can be found in Part C of this paper.

1.3.1. Governments, ministries and administrative offices

1.3.2. Agencies

1.3.3. Universities and Research organisations

1.3.4. Associations

1 FAO - Forestry Department - "Wood energy today for tomorrow" the role of wood energy in Europe and OECD, March 1997 .
2 IEA "The Evolving Renewable Energy market".
3 FAO-Forestry Department-"Forests, Fuels and the Future" - Forestry topic Report no. 5.
4 ADEME - "Biomass Research and Development Strategies", June 1996.
5 AEBIOM - "Biomass news" Newsletter no. 6, January 1998.
6 European Commission - DGXVII - "Wood-fuel for Heating Systems" European Catalogue, November'95.
7 European Financial Guide - "Renewable Energy-Focus on Biomass" , NOVEM, 1998.

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