Background

Biomass is a renewable resource that can be used as an energy carrier or as part of the production process for a range of chemical substances. Due to the limited availability of fossil fuels, biomass demand is expected to rise sharply in the future. This constitutes a major challenge in terms of sustainable development. In particular, the cultivation of energy crops raises the questions of land use and competition with food crops.

The use of biomass consequently brings about significant social and environmental effects, resulting in it being partially rejected by various interest groups. A comprehensive approach is therefore essential for sustainable biomass utilization, including the entire value chain and taking into account different alternative uses, regulatory frameworks and business conditions, as well as the specific environmental and social situation on a local level.

While various stakeholders are already tapping into the Upper Rhine Region’s bioenergy potential today, there is no consistent strategy for sustainable biomass utilization or an environmental network for the region as a whole.

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