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Bioenergy Greenhouse gas emissions: Align Calculations in Europe (BioGrace-II)

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The EU industry calls for harmonisation of biomass sustainability criteria. Also the EC suggests the introduction of harmonised schemes. The project BioGrace-II will help harmonising calculations of GHG emissions for electricity and heat from biomass. It builds upon the earlier IEE-project BioGrace which harmonises GHG calculations for biofuels for transport.The key steps of the BioGrace-II project are to:  1) Build an Excel-based tool for GHG calculations for electricity and heat from biomass;  2) Convince policy makers from at least 6 Member States to chose for harmonisation and use the same tool or approach; and  3) Involve companies who will give feedback and ensure that the GHG calculation tool meets their wishes.Besides, BioGrace-II will train verifiers on how to verify GHG emission calculations, for biofuels and for electricity and heat from biomass. The project ensures active participation and engagement of market actors such as biomass feedstock producers, companies that convert feedstock into intermediate and final products and companies that distribute, sell and use these products. Involving these actors is an essential part of the project.


The main results of the BioGrace-II project are:
  • Harmonisation of GHG emissions was discussed with policy makers from 13 member states. The concrete result from these discussions is that Denmark and The Netherlands have decided to harmonise GHG calculations by both using the BioGrace-II GHG calculation tool when demonstrating that national sustainability criteria are to be met.
  • Three versions of a tool to calculate GHG emissions for electricity, heat and cooling from biomass were built and published. The BioGrace-II GHG calculation tool consists of an Excel tool, a list of additional standard values, a methodological background document, calculation rules and a user manual. Until April 2015 more than 1000 stakeholders downloaded the tool from;
  • During 9 feedback sessions and 3 public workshops more than 100 companies have commented on the key outputs of the BioGrace-II products. Also 57 verifier trainers from voluntary schemes and verifiers operating under those schemes have been trained in GHG calculations during 5 training sessions. They have passed the information on to other verifiers. Overall, 435 stakeholders participated in workshops, trainings and feedback sessions.
  • 25 video instructions were prepared and put online via YouTube. These video instructions assist users of the BioGrace-II GHG calculation tool in understanding the basics and in getting into the details.
  • The BioGrace-II activities and results were disseminated through a website, a leaflet and a brochure, 8 newsletters and presentations at international conferences.
For further details, please refer to the project homepage:

Lessons learned

The most important lesson learned during the execution of the BioGrace-II project is a result of the fact that the publication of the new report of the European Commission on sustainability of electricity, heat and cooling from solid and gaseous biomass was postponed several times. When writing the project proposal it was expected that the new EC report would be published early 2012. Finally, it was published end of July 2014 (SWD(2014)259 “State of play”).The delay of publication of the new EC report had two consequences for the BioGrace-II project:
  1. Several actions had to be postponed as the project consortium could not publish version 1 of the BioGrace-II GHG calculation tools which contained data from JRC that had first to be published by the European Commission and JRC;
  2. Policy makers from EU member states did only start implementing sustainability criteria and start to think about harmonisation between member states after the new EC report was published.
As a result, some parts of the project needed to be rescheduled. The impact on the planning was significant.A lesson from this project is that such problems cannot be avoided and can be solved. The same might happen again in a next project as performing a project that is close to policy-related activities of the European Commission cannot be planned with a fixed timeline.

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Dr John Neeft
+31 88 6022 605


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In brief

01/04/2012 to 31/03/2015
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