Leading figures from Deutsche Bank and BP Germany have spoken of the growing importance of bioenergy in helping to meet the 21st century's energy needs, arguing thar the greener power source will become a "significant growth business."

At a bioenergy conference held at EuroTier, an international livestock exhibition in Hanover, Dr Norbert Walter, chief economist of Deutsche Bank and Dr Uwe Franke, head of BP Germany, forecast that bioenergy, and supporting biomass production, will become a significant growth business during this century.

Dr Franke predicted that, in 10 years’ time, the pricing of CO2 would be a major market factor. Large-scale CO2 emissions reduction and substitution of fossil fuels can only be achieved with advanced biofuels. Advancing biofuels has to be done on the European level in a common effort by the EU, governments, the car industry, agriculture and the oil industry.

Dr Franke added that BP itself is planning a 500 million US dollar bioenergy R&D center for biofuels.

Meanwhile, Dr Walter of Deutsche Bank stated that the importance of biomass in German’s energy mix is often underestimated. In 2005, biomass supplied almost 70% of energy generated from renewable sources and he stated that the competitiveness of biomass would become a decisive factor when evaluating energy supply sources.