GAIN report discusses bioenergy strategy in France

By Erin Voegele | May 02, 2013

A recent report published by the USDA Global Agricultural Information Network provides an overview of the bioeconomy in France, focusing specifically on biomass energy under the country’s Energy Transition initiative.

Under the Renewable Energy Directive, France has set the goal of achieving 23 percent renewable energy production by 2020. This includes a 10 percent share of renewable energy in transportation, 33 percent in heating applications, and 27 percent in electricity production. Biomass is considered the main source of renewable energy for the transportation and heating categories.

According to the report, the country’s Ministry of Agriculture created the National Observatory for Biomass Resources, which published an inventory of France’s biomass resources late last year. It also created projections through 2020. The three most abundant resources identified included crop residues, forest biomass and animal waste.

The GAIN report also addresses a report published by the Ministries of Ecology, Agriculture and Industry in December that stresses the importance of transitioning to second-generation biofuels, as the French government currently expects to terminate public support for traditional biofuels by 2015.

According to the analysis, the French government is discussing an energy transition that would maximize the use of renewable energy. Legislation on the matter is expected to be addressed by France’s parliament later this year.

Regarding technology, the report specifies that the National Research Institute of Agriculture and France’s Petroleum Institute for New Energies announced an alliance this spring to identify challenges in the bioeconomy and develop a joint research and innovation strategy to overcome those challenges.

The document also specifies that France is showing interest in employing the U.S. approach to bioeconomy development.