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[en] The biomass sector has a strategic role in energy renewables policy, according to the National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs), elaborated in compliance with the Directive 2009/28/EC. Planning a suitable use of biomass for energy purposes call for the clear definition of the biomass potential, that has to be periodically updated by inventories for all EU countries. The aim of this paper has been the assessment of the available residual biomass, particularly lignocellulosic, in the Italian territory, to evaluate the potential for bioenergy, particularly for electricity and heat generation. The greenhouse gas savings according to the European target and indicators have been estimated on the national scale. Particularly, the total final energy which could be generated from 22,208,455 t/y of residual biomass assessed in Italy, is equal to 4.57 Mtoe, nearly 2.7% of the gross Italian energy consumption in 2013 and the total savings of GHG emissions coming from this bioenergy generation, are close to 52 Mt CO_2eq for the entire Italian territory per year. The conclusions underline that an appropriate bioenergy policy can help decarbonise the economy, enhance the reliability of the energy supply and additionally it can revitalise rural areas. - Highlights: •Overview of the EU renewable energy and climate policy. •Assessment of the availability of lignocellulosic residual biomass in Italy. •Evaluation of energy potential. •Estimation of greenhouse gas savings according to the European target and indicators.