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Biomass Markets and Policy 

Course number:  3513019,  6 ECTS. In Finnish: Bioenergiamarkkinat ja -politiikka


Are you interested in why bioenergy started? How is energy policy being discussed and implemented? How markets are created for new energy crops? Will farmers grow them? What are the economic tools we can use to analyse and predict energy markets

Course description

The course Biomass markets and policy is part of the bioenergy module of the MSc studies of the School of Forest Sciences of the University of Eastern Finland. The course starts in the first semester, and it is complemented by the course Supply and energy use of lignocellulosic biomass in the firstsemester, making together 12 ECTS. The course, under different names, dates back to 2009, coordinated by Paavo Pelkonen, and several instructors have been involved since then. The present form of the course started in 2015 and has been designed and coordinated by Blas Mola, as Senior Researcher in Bioenergy. The course reviews all aspects related to energy policy related to wood biomass production from forest and agriculture sources, and its utilisation, particularly in the Nordic area. The course has special emphasis on economic and sociological aspects of the production and utilisation of biomass. It includes lectures and discussions, as well as independent and collaborative work on learning tasks at this Wiki learning environment. Find [here] more details about the course.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Upon a successful completion of this course, the students have obtained knowledge and skills for analyzing the development of the driving forces and barriers of the expanding bioenergy markets at local, national and international level as well as for understanding the bioenergy-related policies and governance processes.
  • The student must be able to handle basic tools of market analysis and trade, and have an understanding of the limitations and effects of the policy frameworks on the introduction and development of bioenergy.
  • The student must understand the demands and needs of the consumers and the role of the European Union and the member states in the decision making and in the promotion of bioenergy.


Essentials:  Overview of the markets for biomasses for energy production and biomass based value chains globally and within the European Union (EU), including the supply, quantity, demand, and consumption as well as consumer market aspects. Fundamentals of the policies that have impacts on the supply and consumption of wood energy biomass. Complementary knowledge: Bioenergy governance at local and global level. International bioenergy business, role of bioenergy for the development of rural areas and entrepreneurship.

Course responsible

Blas Mola-Yudego, School of Forest Sciences, Borealis room 376, email address: blas.mola(at)

NOTE: Due to the present situation due to the covid-19 pandemic, this course is under full renovation to accommodate online-teaching. Since it is the first year this is intended, this will take some time and several changes are expected. Do not expect a full updated version of this web pages before the official start of the course. Thanks in advance.

The course starts on 8 JAN 2021 12:15h (Finnish time, EET)

We fully understand that it is not easy for everybody to join all the meetings. We made this schedule looking for a compromise with the already established time table of this course at weboodi, to avoid any overlapping with other courses. For any question or individual appointment, you can contact us by email.

Course zoom lectures:

Check at weboodi. The lectures start at 15 min past the hour, and will last for about 1h.

In addition, we will implement some voluntary mentoring system with those students already in Joensuu. Those students on Western Time Zones, please contact us.

Course structure

1. Background
why bioenergy? - oil crisis - current status

2. The role of policy
role of policy - externalities - policy layers

3. Economic instruments
supply and demand - taxation - subsidies

4. Adoption dynamics in bioenergy
spreading innovations - addoption curves - pioneers and laggards

5. Market behaviour
creating a market model - price reaction - gamification

6. Governance
conflicts - international agreements - current scrutiny

7. International bioenergy trade
pellets - lond distance trade - main players

8. Bioenergy market supply
economics of supply chains

9. International policies
policy framework in Asia -

10. Future trends
foresight of bioenergy markets

3. Assignments

4. Study Materials