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International bioenergy markets

Blas MOLA-YUDEGO

Summary

Pellets, among other biofuels, present the advantage of a higher energy efficiency per unit of volume. In general, the energy ratio between oil and pellets is 1:3, which is a good value compared to wood chips or wood-fuel. This advantage facilitates the transportation and logistics of wood pellets, and make it a good example to explain international bioenergy markets. Many countries have developed a different profile, as a consumer or supplier of wood pellets, based on their resources, traditions, heat demand and policy framework among others. It must be underlined that wood pellets are a by-product of the forest industry, particularly sawmills, and whereas the supply and demand applies directly on timber products, it shows inefficiencies related to pellets (there can be a high demand of pellets and a low demand of timber products, therefore affecting the supply of pellets). In Europe, there are four main areas of pellet production, namely Central Europe, Scandinavia, Finland and the Baltics. Each of these areas have different characteristics, related to their policy framework and conditions, that will be presented.

Lecture materials

  • Lecture slides [PDF]

  • Readings:

Selkimäki, M., Mola-Yudego, B., Röser, D., Prinz, R., & Sikanen, L. (2010). Present and future trends in pellet markets, raw materials, and supply logistics in Sweden and Finland. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 14(9), 3068-3075. [PDF]

Mola-Yudego, B., Selkimäki, M., & González-Olabarria, J. R. (2014). Spatial analysis of the wood pellet production for energy in Europe. Renewable Energy, 63, 76-83. [PDF]

Heinimö, J. (2008). Methodological aspects on international biofuels trade: international streams and trade of solid and liquid biofuels in Finland. Biomass and Bioenergy32(8), 702-716. [PDF] 

  • Concepts:

Pellets

European pellet producing cores

Table 1: Main policy instruments for the promotion of pellet production, by country (Mola-Yudego et al, 2014)

Countries

Production growth (average)

 Consumption growth (average)

Policy Instruments

Amount (x1000t)

%

Amount (x1000t)

%

Austria

89

32

75

30

Subsidies, Feed in tariffs

Belgium

  

190

26

Subsidies, Tax reduction, Green certificate system

Denmark

– 9

– 4

90

11

Subsidies, Biofuel tax exemption, Energy tax, Feed in tariff

Finland

42

19

22

32

Energy tax, Green certificate system

France

54

91

50

41

Tax/VAT reduction, Green certificate

Germany

2770

85

172

31

Subsidies, Tax/VAT reduction, Green certificate

Netherland

3

3

103

19

Feed in Premium

Italy

98

33

128

33

Subsidies, Green certificate

Sweden

107

11

144

11

Subsidies, Carbon and energy tax, Biofuel tax exemption, Green Electricity system

Poland

66

126

29

132

Green certificate system

 

 

Objectives

This session focuses on:

  • To review the present consumption and production patters in different EU countries concerning pellets
  • To identify the main EU core markets in pellet production 
  • To link the development of pellet markets to the policy framework

 

 

 

Fig 1: Main pellet production cores in Europe (Mola-Yudego et al., 2014)

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