The use of biomass is in many cases transforming a waste into a resource. To this is added the advantage of reducing CO2 emissions and to boost local employment in rural areas. However, to make biomass competitive in the energy market it is essential to have the support and encouragement of government at national, regional and local level.
Therefore, we must develop, promote and encourage local policies that favour the use of biomass to ensure that their benefits are direct and immediate. This requires knowing that energy policies are being promoted in Europe, especially in countries with large biomass development in recent years: Denmark, Germany, Netherlands ... countries that have recently increased their share: Austria, Hungary, Slovakia or countries with problems in developing bioenergy: Romania, Greece, Spain... (Data from the COM (2009) 192).
With these studies, participant regions may consider what policies can be driven in their regions and what direct benefits they can get from the development of biomass. Common measures may be identified as most appropriate for implementation in each partner region.
These measures will generate the “Micro-local action plans for Biomass in local areas”.
Finally, the POLI-BIOMASS project will focus on developing these microplans in three pilot municipalities, one from each participant region to obtain actual and direct indicators of the objectives achieved.
To boost these policies it will be essential to facilitate exchanges of experience between the partner countries, organize seminars aimed at local authorities to learn and implement those policies, incorporate them into communication plans, train service technicians, document initiatives carried out and transfer them to other municipalities.
Strategic planning and training as well as support for decision makers and civil servants is needed to raise awareness and to boost the changeover from an energy system based on fossil fuels to RES.