The innovative application of proven technology


Sustainable biomass for energy should be based on the following priciples:

  • the rate of growth exceeds the rate of harvest;
  • biodiversity is preserved;
  • biomass plantations, where appropriate, are managed and contained – especially in respect of risks to biodiversity;
  • functions of forests (amenity, air cleaning, watershed services, carbon sequestration and so forth) are maintained to an optimal degree;
  • indigenous peoples are employed in this process to preserve the sustainability of local communities;
  • use of good quality timber, intended for very long lasting wood products (furniture or construction wood), is given adequate priority over energy production; and
  • indigenous peoples are not deprived from fuel wood without being provided with an energy efficient and affordable alternative.

Principles of sustainable biomass are available from a variety of sources.  The following links provide further information on the topic of sustainability in relation to biomass for energy:


Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations (FAO)

FAO Energy Website

FAO Forests and Energy

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

UNECE Sustainable Energy

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

IRENA Website
IRENA Global bioenergy: supply and demand projections
IRENA Renewable Energy in Cities

Sustainable Energy for All

SE4A Website

International Energy Association (IEA)

IEA Website
IEA The status of large scale biomass firing

European Commission (EC)

EC Sustainable bioenergy criteria and indicators

United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation  (UNREDD)

UNREDD Website

Sustainable Biomass Partnership (SBP)

SBP Website