With the Bioeconomy Strategy, Europe aims to strengthen and boost biobased sectors. Therefore, investments in and markets of biobased value chains have to be unlocked and local bioeconomies across Europe have to be deployed. Compliance with environmental and social sustainability goals is on top of the agenda. The current biomass provision structures are unfit to take on the diversity of biomass residues and their respective supply chains and cannot ensure the sustainability of feedstock supply in an ecological, social and economical fashion. Therefore, we have to address the research question on feasible strategies for mobilizing and deploying local, low value and heterogeneous biomass resources. We are building upon the work of the IEA Bioenergy Task40 scientists and their expertise on international bioenergy trade and the current provision of bioenergy and cluster mobilization measures into three assessment levels; the legislative framework, technological innovation and market creation. The challenges and opportunity of the three assessment levels point towards a common denominator: The quantification of the systemic value of strengthening the potentially last remaining primary economic sectors, forestry, agriculture and aquaculture, is missing. With the eroding importance of other primary economic sectors, including fossil fuel extraction and minerals mining, the time is now to assess and act upon the value of the supply-side of a circular bioeconomy. This value includes the support the Bioeconomy can provide to structurally vulnerable regions by creating meaningful jobs and activities in and strengthening the resource democratic significance of rural areas.
Keywords: bioeconomy strategy; regional development; residues; policy; market; technology; commoditization