Bioenergy will be the most significant renewable energy source in the next few decades until solar- or wind-power production offers an economically attractive large-scale alternative. Structural changes are required in power production in the near future owing to concern for global warming. Separate power production from fossil fuels should be replaced as extensively as possible by a new highly efficient power-generation structure. In Scandinavia, as well as to some extent elsewhere in Europe, combined heat and power production (CHP) is widely used and is an efficient way to reduce CO2 emissions. In CHP, the additional power capacity can be produced by using IGCC and diesel techniques, and a potentially double amount of electricity is obtained with a constant heat load. The Finnish JALO research programme focuses on these techniques in a wide spectrum of the thermochemical conversion programme. Basic and applied research as well as pilot activities has been carried out in research organizations and in industry in Finland. A sum of about ECU 9 million has been invested in the programme over the past five years. The first pilot and demonstration plants with solid-biomass IGCC technology will be put into operation by private enterprises in 1993. If the price of biofuels is competitive, these new technologies will probably be commercialized by the end of the 1990s. International co-operation within ECE JOULE and IEA has played an important role in the JALO programme.