Study on behalf of the European Climate Foundation

The role of biomass in the decarbonisation of the heating sector

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Renewable heating is currently dominated by biomass, accounting for around 80 % of the renewable energy used for heating1. Within the heating sector, biomass is mainly used in the form of solid biomass: in 2019, solid biomass made up for 95 % of the biomass used for heating, followed by biogas (4%) and bioliquids (1%).

Several recent studies have highlighted the limitations to the role that biomass can play in the transition towards climate neutrality. Biomass resources are limited and their use should be prioritised in a “cascading use principle”, where woody biomass should primarily be used for long-lasting, high-value purposes such as wood-based products.