(SeeNews Renewables) – Dec 15, 2011 – European Union (EU) members could miss their renewable energy targets if the supply of biomass to the energy sector does not improve substantially, according to Rabobank.

In its Renewables report for the fourth quarter of 2011, published this week, the bank says that the countries rely on new biomass sources and new supply chains in order to achieve their targets. However, there are some uncertainties around these expectations.

Biomass plays a very important role in meeting renewable energy goals as some 60% of the renewable energy generated in Europe today comes from biomass, Susan Hansen, manager of the clean-tech research team at Rabobank, told Environmental Finance. However, it will be a challenge to organise the supply chain to get sufficient feedstock in the next years, she added.

In order for the EU countries to be able to meet their renewable energy targets, forestry, as the major supplier of biomass-for-energy in the EU, will have to expand by 20-25% from 2006 to 2020, according to Rabobank. However, the bank warns that this is a slow-moving industry. In addition, the energy sector meets competition for biomass from the pulp and paper industry