Answer given by Mr Arias Cañete on behalf of the Commission
Bioenergy based on forest biomass is currently and will remain the largest source of renewable energy in the EU by 2020 according to National Renewable Action Plans. As such, the use of biomass is promoted through the EU renewable energy policy and its implementation by Member States. The Commission will propose a new Renewable Energy Package in 2016-2017, including a policy for sustainable biofuels for transports and biomass for heat and electricity(1).
The use of forest biomass for energy can be supported under the EU Rural Development Policy through the national and/or regionalrural development programmes (RDPs) implemented by Member States. The sustainable production of forest biomass can be enhanced by support for new forestry technologies, processing, mobilising and marketing of forest products. Support can also be granted for setting up new production chains (e.g. for the marketing of biomass). It is up to Member States to decide which measures to include in their RDPs. It is too early to provide a comprehensive overview on bioenergy production across Member States as not all of them are adopted yet.
In addition, the European Investment Bank (EIB) provides support for forestry under the following lending priorities: smaller enterprises, climate action, and innovation and skills. Projects such as afforestation, renewable energy, etc. can be financed. Additional information can be found in the brochure: EIB‐ Financing a growing Forest Sector(2).