An important prerequisite for the European targets to be met is a significant increase in the use of biomass for energy. However, competition for biomass is expected to grow in the future, because biomass is used in the manufacture of many different products, including food, animal feed and various types of materials. The planning of biomass usage is poor, according to Niina Kautto.
"There is a gap between what is included in countries' and regions' current biomass plans and what should be included if they want to meet the targets."
Niina Kautto has studied plans and processes that concern the use of biomass for energy generation in eleven countries and eleven regions in the EU, including the UK, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. The plans have been developed partly as a result of the biomass action plan which the EU drew up in 2005 and which aimed to encourage greater biomass usage for energy.
Niina Kautto's research shows that some of the most significant shortcomings in the plans are that they often lack good quality figures of current use; biomass resources are often not estimated in a way that enables the figures to be compared. In many cases, it is also unclear how the national and regional targets contribute to the European targets.
Another weakness in the plans is the follow-up and evaluation of whether the plans were effective and resulted in the targets being met.
"It may seem logical that follow-up and evaluation should always be carried out, but the fact is that they are often insufficient", says Niina Kautto.
She proposes a range of measures to improve the plans and the processes that surround them.
"Really, it's about a simple quality management cycle, where a structured approach is taken", says Niina Kautto.
In simple terms, this means starting from a vision. From this, the external and internal factors that could affect the realisation of the vision are analysed and a
|Contact: Niina Kautto |