Sustainable use of forest biomass as a renewable energy source was discussed on a three-day international meeting, in Bansko.
The forum, organized by Executive Forest Agency / EFA / within the implementation of INTERREG Europe project BIO4ECO, was attended by over fifty experts from Spain, Finland, France, Italy, Latvia, Romania, Slovenia and Bulgaria. Lead partner is Forest Technology Centre of Catalonia, Spain.
Participants in the meeting shared their experience and best practices related to effective and environmental use of forest biomass. The experts were unanimous that the use of forests should be subject to a balanced approach that takes into account not only economic needs, but also environmental and social role of the forests. The potential of biomass in Bulgaria and the role of Bulgarian forests regarding transition to a bioeconomy were discussed during the forum. The needs of our forest industry and the real possibilities of producing heat and electricity from wood biomass were discussed. The analysis showed that Bulgaria is a country in which all forest management indicators had been increasing over the past twenty years. The increase of afforested areas, and the increase of wood stock are good prerequisites for sustainable use of forest biomass in the country.
A plant for the production of heating energy from biomass in Bansko, a factory for production of wood pellets in Razlog and forest sites at Razlog State Forest Enterprise were visited as well.
Next step is designing a National Action Plan, which will seek the most efficient and cost-effective ways to support the use of forest biomass for energy production. This action plan will be drawn up by each project partner during project implementation.