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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/21760

Title: Results of a Global Survey on International Biomass Trade for Energy: Opportunities, Risks and Policy Options
Authors: Pelkmans, L.
Van Dael, Miet
Del Campo, I.
Sanchez, D.
Rutz, D.
Janssen, R.
Junginger, M.
Mai-Moulin, T.
Iriarte, L.
Diaz-Chavez, R.
Elbersen, B.
Nabuurs, G.J.
Elbersen, W.
Issue Date: 2016
Citation: 24th European Biomass Conference & Exhibition, Amsterdam, 6-9 June 2016
Abstract: European targets set by 2020 in the Climate and Energy package and the Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) will require a serious increase in biomass demand for energy purposes. The analysis of the data reported by the Member States in their National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAP) shows that biomass is expected to contribute more than half of the 20% renewable objective of the gross final energy consumption. However the data provided and trade statistics have revealed that the quantity of woody biomass required to satisfy the 2020 targets, is likely to be too large to be met by increased production within the EU. Instead, various Member States will have to rely on imported biomass (especially wood products) from elsewhere; based on analysis of the NREAPS, countries like Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Poland and Spain will all face a biomass deficit by 2020 (Hoefnagels et al., 2011). Importing this biomass from outside the EU may occur at the risk of damaging ecosystems in other parts of the world, while actually increasing the EU’s own carbon footprint. The main aim of the European project BioTrade2020plus is to provide guidelines for the development of a European Bioenergy Trade Strategy for 2020 and beyond. Some of the principles of this strategy will be to ensure that imported biomass feedstock is sustainably sourced and used in an efficient way, while avoiding distortion of other markets. It will be important to find a basis for a balanced approach between promoting the use of domestic biomass, while also keeping markets open for sustainable imports of biomass. Focus is placed on wood chips, pellets, torrefied biomass and pyrolysis oil from current and potential future major sourcing regions of the world (North-America, South-America, East Europe (non-EU) & Russia, Southeast-Asia and Africa). An online survey is performed with different statements in order to develop guidelines for a European Bioenergy Trade Strategy. The statements were divided in seven different categories: (1) opportunities for importing regions, (2) opportunities for sourcing regions, (3) risks for importing regions, (4) risks for sourcing regions, (5) barriers for trade, (6) key principles for sustainable biomass trade and (7) policy options. In total 127 complete responses are received from 35 different countries. The respondents indicated ‘limited domestic potential’ and ‘cost-efficiency’ as the main opportunities for importing regions. The fact that EU countries can build trading links with strategic trade partners is seen as the least important opportunity. Economic development and job creation are the main opportunities for sourcing regions. The respondents indicated for all opportunities that these are most important for Southeast-Asia. The main risk for importing regions, is a difficult investment climate due to the lack of long-term stability in terms of policies and prices. For the sourcing regions the risks that were indicated as being the most important ones differ a lot depending on the region. It is noticeable that for North-America the provided risks were not seen as being important. In general the risk are rated to be more important for southeast-Asia or Africa. For both regions especially the risk of land claiming is rated higher in comparison with the other regions. The bad public image due to claims of unsustainable practices for biofuels and a lack of knowledge of public, media and policy makers are seen as the most important barriers for trade. The respondents were quite unanimous concerning the key principles for sustainable biomass trade. The most important one is that trade should be based on sustainable and legally acquired biomass sourcing. Also, respondents indicated that the full value chain should be the basis for performance assessment. For the policy options, respondents agreed most with (1) harmonized/common binding sustainability criteria are needed on EU level, and (2) a proof of sustainable forestry management should be required when forestry biomass is used. The respondents were less in agreement with the option that requirements should go further than the current RED criteria for biofuels.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/21760
Category: C2
Type: Conference Material
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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