Bio-energy (like other renewable energy sources) is proposed as a solution for climate change and other energy-related and economic issues. The predominant production model, however, which is based on first-generation biofuels developed on a global scale, creates ecological impacts throughout the production chain, resulting in a sustainability paradox, as well as social unrest and territorial conflict. Therefore, attention here is focussed on agro-energy and second-generation biofuels, investigating the structural differences, the advantages, the potential problems and the possible solutions of some local biofuel initiatives in North Western Europe. Finally, we propose a regional agrarian model to avoid the impacts and contradictions of the global industrial model, to produce a better ecological balance at both the local and the global levels, and to improve the democratic character of energy governance. In addition, we suggest a paradigmatic reading to better understand the cultural, political and socio-economic implications of the two models.