Bioenergy and rural development in Europe: Policy recommendations from the TRIBORN project

Policy recommendations from the TRIBORN research project and stakeholder consultations, 2014-17.

Since 2014, the TRIBORN research project has investigated how to increase the production of bioenergy in ways that promote sustainable development, including jobs and social development in rural areas.

Local renewable energy initiatives play a prominent role in the proposed EU Renewable Energy Directive for 2020-30 (RED2020-30). The IEA, OECD, the EU Commission and national governments are increasingly aware of this role, and of the importance of reducing the barriers to their – often innovative – development. The OECD (2012) has also stressed the need to ensure positive outcomes for local people and rural communities in the expansion of renewable energy and bioenergy.

Based on comparative case studies with user participation in Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Italy, the TRIBORN project has aimed to identify drivers and obstacles to sustainable bioenergy innovation and growth in rural areas. And how to facilitate the design of innovation systems that produce Triple Bottom Line (TBL) (economic, social, environmental) benefits, and promote the achievement of national bioenergy targets.

In this policy brief, project results have been translated into concrete policy recommendations for decision makers at local, regional, national and EU levels.