DEO-DAY 2006: Bio-energy and Sustainability. Can we have both?

Choices for the future
How can bio-energy contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gasses and to a sustainable development? Take part in a discussion about the choices we must make in the Netherlands to apply imported biomass in our energy production in a responsable way! This year we will debate about the question:

If biomass is applied for large scale energy production,
will it be feasible to guarantee a sustainable chain of biomass production, transport and conversion?

Speakers will discuss the opportunities and risks in the development towards an industry of scale for biomass from scientific, economical and environmental point of view. The focus will be whether a (certified?) sustainable chain of biomass production, transport and conversion will be feasible in this case. Different aspects of large scale biomass production will be discussed, e.g. the feasibility and verifiability of certification, practice and the government criteria toward bio-energy.


Entrance free. Registration required at because of limited amount of seats. Enter your name and occupation/study.


13:00 – 13:05 Words of welcome by the chairman of YES-DC, Ir. Gerard Stienstra.
13:05 – 13:15 Welcoming speech by the chairman of the day Dr. Josée van Eijndhoven (Erasmus University)
13:15 – 13:45 Dr. André Faaij (Utrecht University): ‘Global Techno-Economic Potential For Bio-Energy
13:45 – 14:15 Dr. Ir. Rob Alkemade (MNP, Milieu en Natuur Planbureau): ‘Consequences for biodiversity of large scale biomass production
14:15 – 14:45 Wolfgang Richert (AIDEnvironment): ‘Sustainable biomass; background, principles and tools’
14:45 – 15:30 Debate opened by Ir. Jorrit Dingemans (responding to speakers) – conducted by Dr. Josée van Eijndhoven between speakers and audience.
15:30 – 16:00 PAUSE
16:00 – 17:00 Workshops:
17:00 – 17:30 Plenary discussion about the results of the workshops
17:30 – 18:30 Get-together & Drink

Report including minutes of the presentations and debates: click here (pdf 86 kB)

About workshops:

Ineke Vlot: Ketenduurzaamheid, biomassa en certificering (slides in dutch)
She will open her workshop with a general explanation on (environmental) certification, after which she will focus on the (im-)possibility of certification of biomass. The subject of product-chain sustainability and certification will be illustrated by a case study. Possible criteria for environmental certification of biodiesel will also be dealt with.

Geert Bergsma: Practice of biomass in Thailand
Mr. Bergsma will start the workshop with a short presentation on his experiences of biomass import from Thailand and the effects for the local Thai population. Also effects of import from other developing countries will be described.The presentation will be followed by a discussion on subjects like: the effect of biomass export on the local food, and energy supply in developing countries and the effect on the related development goals for these countries. Important question will be what our responsibility is for the consequences of biomassa export.

Erik Wissema: Criteria on Biomass Import (powerpoint 230 kB)
Proponents expect that biomass will have an important role in the future energy-transition. In the next few years large growth is foreseen in the use of biomass for energy production, as fuels and as feedstock for the chemical industry. The Netherlands will have to import most of this biomass, largely from developing countries. Wherever the biomass comes from, it is of great importance that it complies with standards for sustainability. A project-group for developing sustainability criteria has been set up by the energy-transition platform. These criteria regard, among other things, the CO2 balance and environmental and social issues. The authorities aim to start using these criteria in 2007 for electricity production and biofuels. The energy transition platform will also encourage other parties to apply these criteria. The sustainability criteria for 2007 are a first step. In the coming years greater sustainability of biomass production, transport and use will have to be achieved, as much as possible in a dialog with the producing countries.


About speakers:

Josée van Eijndhoven is the President of the Executive Board of Erasmus University Rotterdam (since 2001). Between 1991 and 2001 she was the Director of the Rathenau Institute for Technology Assessment in the Hague, The Netherlands. She was educated as a chemist at Leiden University. She was a professor of Technology Assessment at Utrecht University. Her main area of research is risk assessment, management and communication related to chemical industry and global environmental risks.

André Faaij is Associate Professor in Energy Supply & System Studies at Utrecht University. He is coordinator of the research group Sustainable Energy Supply Options of the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation. Dr. Faaij is internationally known for his contributions to research on the possibilities for the future development of renewable energy.

Rob Alkemade will present on ‘Consequences for biodiversity of large scale biomass production’. He is an ecologist at the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (Milieu- en Natuurplanbureau), where is is (co-) leader of a number of project on ecosystems and biodiversity. In the project ‘International Biodiversity’ models are developed to assess global biodiversity. These models are also used to assess the expected effects of the development of bio-energy.

Wolfgang Richert is a consultant for AIDEnvironment. He is an environmental scientist, and is especially interested in socio-economic and political issues. He has been a researcher for environmental NGOs and a central government policy officer for deforestation, climate change, product chains and industrial policy. He is author of the report ‘Betere Biomassa’ (Better Biomass), written for Friends of the Earth (Netherlands), Natuur en Milieu, Oxfam Novib and IUCN.

Jorrit Dingemans
is account manager for the Green Fund of Triodos Bank. Previously he worked at ENECO Energy, developing wind energy and biomass projects. He is involved in financing sustainable energy projects, particularly biomass projects. Triodos always tests requests for financing for their sustainability. Jorrit shared responsibility for setting up the assessment framework for biomass projects. 

Geert Bergsma
is a consultant at CE Delft, where among other things he is theme coordinator of the subject ‘biomass’. In the last few years he has been strongly involved in the transition to biomass. Currently he is working on a document ‘Criteria for sustainable biomass import’ and on a study of the practical problems with biomass in the land of production (in the case rice chaff in Thailand).
Ineke Vlot is manager non-food at SMK (Stichting Milieukeur). SMK develops criteria for sustainable products and services to support organizations who wish to operate in a socially responsible way. Previously Ineke was project manager at the Centre for Energy Conservation en Environmental Technology. She studied biology/environmental sciences at Leiden University.

Erik Wissema is senior policy advisor at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, where he is responsible for the biomass dossier. Currently he is project leader of the project supporting the energy transition by developing criteria for sustainable import of biomass. These criteria will be applied in policies for biofuels and energy production.