Biomass Demand in Europe to Reach 44% by 2020

Joanna Schroeder

According to a new report released today in the European Biomass Review, and conducted by RISI, lignocellulosic biomass demand will reach 44% between 2010 and 2020. This increase in biomass need will be spurred by renewable energy policy. The majority of the biomass will be used in the energy sector, but will also be used in industrial and residential sectors.

The report highlights the potential of biomass production and aims to identify where the biomass may come from including forest and agricultural residues and energy crops. However, despite availability, one key to success, says the report, is the ability to mobilize, or harvest, transport and store the biomass. The report lays out three scenarios for mobilization of new biomass sources by 2020, based on various regions. In addition, a cost-curve analysis for each region and each scenario illustrates the implications for biomass pricing and imports.

According to RISI, lignocellulosic biomass is currently the largest renewable energy source (RES) although wind, solar and geothermal are rapidly developing. Therefore, the study also analyzes the economics of biomass versus other RES’s using macro demand drivers and the National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) to forecast biomass demand by sector through 2020.

“The NREAPs offer insights into how governments plan to meet the renewable energy targets by 2020,” said Glen O’Kelly, author of the study. “But forecast biomass demand is based on announced investments, carbon costs and the relative economics of biomass, as well as an analysis of macro drivers: forecast GDP, population, household energy use, forest industry production – all considered in this study.”

The European Biomass Review covers EU27 countries as well as Norway and Switzerland with six regional designations including North, West, East & South Europe, UK, and Ireland.

biofuels, biomass, Research