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Untapped potential for biofuels in CEE, Cei says

Stakeholders meet in Trieste to discuss bioeconomy in the region

13 May, 10:39

(ANSA) - TRIESTE - Vast forestry and agriculture sectors in Central and Eastern Europe offer big, but largely untapped, potential for production of biofuels. Developing this potential was the main topic of the informal brainstorming meeting held at CEI Headquarters in Trieste, which gathered experts from international organisations, companies, and scientific institutions willing to collaborate together towards this goal.

"The importance of this meeting derives from the fact that, for the first time, and upon the initiative of the CEI, the international organizations with competence in renewable energies and a specific focus on the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, have gathered to combine their actions to promote advanced biofuels in the context of the development of a bio-based economy", the Special Advisor to the CEI Secretary General, Giorgio Rosso Cicogna, stated.

High officials and experts from the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (Unece), the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (Osce), the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (Jrc-Ec), the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (Icgeb), the International Centre for Applied Research and Sustainable Technology (Icarst), the Denmark-based biotech company Novozymes were present. Experts from the Universities of Trieste and Udine were also invited. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (Oecd) and International Energy Agency (Iea), who were unable to participate at this meeting, also confirmed their interest to participate in this Cei initiative.

"The collaboration between the participating organizations will allow for the promotion of ulterior production efficiency, but also to a definition of the necessary regulatory framework, including the short-term incentive programs. It is evident that the European dimension will provide an optimal context for collaboration with the aim of developing advanced biofuels in the Cei countries", Mr. Rosso Cicogna concluded.

According to the Cei-Bloomberg study, commissioned in 2012 by the CEI with the support of Novozymes, 36.000 permanent jobs could be created in the Cei member countries if only a sustainable rate of 17% of currently available agricultural waste were to be used for production of ethanol, without compromising the existing agricultural production cycles. This would have a significant impact on economic growth, rural development, and would guarantee for increased energy security of the region. The Cei region could produce 30 billion litres of ethanol per year, replacing 61% of fossil gasoline consumption, and reducing CO2 emissions by 40%, according to the study. (ANSA).

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