Sustainable Bioenergy High-Impact Opportunity launches

Sustainable-Energy-for-All1Novozymes, Bloomberg, KLM, Boeing, RSB, Carbon War Room, FAO, UN Foundartion, PANGEA, NEPAD, ICAO, Sky NRG, and the Inter-American Development Bank aim to “facilitate the development and deployment of sustainable bioenergy solutions…and doubling the use of renewable energy.”

Seven projects underway in Bioenergy and Food Security, Sustainable Aviation, Policy Tools, Sustainability Certification and Sustainable Bioenergy in Africa and Latin America.

In Denmark, Novozymes and partners including the FAO, Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Carbon War Room, KLM and the UN Foundation announced the launch of a multi-stakeholder coalition to scale up the development and deployment of sustainable bioenergy solutions to meet the global need for sustainable energy. The coalition will act under the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative launched earlier in the decade by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

The Sustainable Bioenergy High-Impact Opportunity (HIO) is a voluntary partnership of likeminded stakeholders that seeks to facilitate the development and deployment of sustainable bioenergy solutions to aid SE4ALL in reaching its goals participant universal energy access and doubling the use of renewable energy. All types of bioenergy projects are being promoted including:

1) Renewable biomass for clean cooking solutions;
2) On-farm bioenergy production to boost agricultural yield and reduce post-harvest losses;
3) Distributed electricity production using sustainable biomass from forestry and agriculture co-products;
4) Electricity and fuels from municipal solid waste (MSW);
5) Cellulosic ethanol for clean cooking and transportation; and
6) Sustainable aviation biofuels.

One of the coalition’s key goals is delivering bioenergy options that are environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable, with a focus on emerging markets and rural communities in developing countries. The effort will be
supported by Novozymes, the world’s largest technology provider to biofuel industries.  FAO and RSB are co-chairing the sustainable bioenergy effort.

The Sustainable Bioenergy High Impact Opportunity (HIO) will pursue three objectives: (i) Knowledge enhancement and information sharing, (ii) Policy support; and (iii) Deployment support. Specifically, the HIO will seek novel means of financing energy access and renewable fuels projects across the globe.

The Objectives

The partners announced three key objectives:

#1 – KNOWLEDGE ENHANCEMENT AND INFORMATION SHARING. The community of practice created by the HIO and the HIIs will capitalize on existing and generate additional knowledge and experience. The HIO will facilitate access to relevant information regarding existing tools, good practice and foster engagement among partners, HII coordinators, interested parties and external stakeholders.


#2 – DEPLOYMENT SUPPORT. Drawing upon tools and experience HIO partners will provide advice and technical assistance in the implementation of sustainable bioenergy programs and practices at the project level. Furthermore, the HIO will help operationalize the tools and projects including inter alia sustainability principles, novel project finance mechanisms and other means of analytical support.

#3 – POLICY SUPPORT. HIO Partners will catalyze the creation of a dynamic and engaged community of practice that will promote and support the development of an enabling policy and institutional environment for sustainable bioenergy development. “To achieve the goals outlined above we have assembled a Steering Committee consisting institutions internationally recognized for their leadership in sustainable bioenergy policy, technology and best business practices,; the group said. “The Steering Committee will provide guidance and oversee the work of High Impact Initiatives and Projects that are at the forefront of sustainable bioenergy development and deployment.”


The Steering Committee

UN Food and Agriculture Organization (Co-Chair) — Olivier Dubois Senior Natural Resources Officer & Energy Team Leader
Roundtable Sustainable Biomaterials (Co-Chair) — Barbara Bramble Chair, Board of Directors
Bloomberg New Energy Finance — Ethan Zindler Head of Policy Analysis & Head of the Americas
Carbon War Room — Hilary McMahon Director of Research
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines — Ignaas Caryn Director Corporate Venturing and Biofuels
Novozymes — Claus Stig Pedersen Head of Corporate Sustainability
UN Foundation — Melinda Kimble Senior Vice President

Accomplishments to date

1. Initial HIO Steering Committee composition secured
2. Roles and responsibilities of Co-Chairs; secretariat and Steering committee members defined
3. Outreach to SE4ALL Hubs initiated
4. Awareness raising among the bioenergy community begun and ongoing
5. Initial set of High-Impact Initiatives assembled

HIGH IMPACT Initiatives, Projects and Partners identified to date:

Bioenergy and Food Security (UN FAO)
Bioports for Sustainable Aviation (KLM & SKYNRG)
Policy Tools Promoting Sustainable Bioenergy (International Energy Agency & UN FAO)
Smallholder Sustainability Certification (RSB & Boeing)
Sustainable Aviation Biofuels (UN ICAO, Carbon War Room & Boeing)
Sustainable Bioenergy in Africa (PANGEA & NEPAD)
Sustainable Bioenergy in Latin America (IDB & Novozymes)

The Sustainable Energy For All background

In 2013, Shell chairman (and former DuPont chairman and CEO) Chad Holliday gave a keynote at ABLC outling the Sustainable Energy For All initiative and structure By 2014, a High Impact Opportunity had been developed, conceptually, under the direction of former USDA luminary Gerry OStheimer, and Ostheimer updated on progress at ABLC 2014.

More on that presentation and a companion slide deck from the Roundtable of Sustainable BioMaterials here.

By the time of ABLC Next 2014, we reported that projects have been tough to get going in the developing world – in addition to the usual barriers of feedstock, technology, market risk and policy risk — there’s the whole range of challenges that are summed up in “country risk” — and in steps Sustainable Energy For All movement to get things going from the bottom up to change that equation. The bottom up energy of new technologies and project developers combine with the top-down thrust of the UN and groups like the Asian Development Bank, to blow through the barriers. More on that here.


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