Integrated solutions of the production and use of bioenergy contribute to sustainable use of resources across a number of sectors in economy both in urban and rural areas, and has vast potential in terms of economic gains for both cities and rural local communities.

On October 18th, the Baltic Sea Region Programme project “Bioenergy Promotion 2”, organized the international bioenergy conference “From strategies to activities – Good practice examples of regional bioenergy promotion”. The conference took place in relation to the international fair “Environment and Energy 2013 “in Riga, Latvia. The conference was organised by the Latvian project partner “Latvian Environmental Investment Fund” and there were in total more than 100 participants attending.

The conference opening remarks were made by Alda Ozola, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development in Latvia. “I really appreciate such projects like “Bioenergy Promotion 2″ which demonstrates multiple benefits of the use and production of local bioenergy. There is a need to promote bioenergy production in a sustainable way and find ways how we can build on synergies between social and economic development at the local level while preserving environment” says Alda Ozola.

Aino Martikainen, the project leader of “Bioenergy Promotion 2”, presented the results of the project which promotes sustainable production and use of bioenergy in the Baltic Sea Region. She was very pleased with the outcomes of the project: “We have achieved a lot as well on regional, on national as on transnational level. These here during the conference presented bioenergy strategies in the demo regions and good practice examples show ways to support and increase the sustainable production and use of bioenergy in the Baltic Sea Region.”

In the first session of the Conference “Woody Biomass” sustainable and resource efficient use of woody biomass for bioenergy was demonstrated and an overview of different kind of support mechanisms in the Baltic Sea Region countries was given. In the second session “Bio-waste and integrated solutions” the best practice examples of integrated solutions for bioenergy production and development of agricultural green business were presented.

Director of the Latvian Fund for Nature Ģirts Strazdiņš states: “Sustainability questions were a major topic of the conference. I am happy that  the industry representatives here also agreed that sustainability is crucial for getting vast public support for renewable energy production”.

The objective of the project “Bioenergy Promotion 2” activities has been to extend the strategic outputs of the main stage project into the Baltic Sea Region and national political arenas and also into the daily grind of utility companies and local and regional administration. On a more practical level, the Extension Stage activities also have provided direct support to seven demo regions implementing “Strategic Management Plans”. These plans were developed during the main stage project phase and include the “Bioenergy Promotion” sustainability criteria and integrated concepts to increase the use of bioenergy within a region but without harming the environment or posing a threat to food security.

Pictures from the final conference can be found here. To view presentations from the event please follow this link.