Sustainable Biomass Markets and International Trade to support the biobased economy

On-going projects

Intertasks project: Measuring, governing and gaining support for sustainable bioenergy supply chains

Companies’ and people’s attitudes towards sustainability governance of biomass and bioenergy and their willingness to accept such measures as documentation of sustainability will depend on 1) legitimacy in design of the governance system; input legitimacy relates to quality of stakeholder involvement, and output legitimacy to the effectiveness with which a system achieves sustainability goals, 2) the trust in those systems, including a) the perceived legitimacy, b) transparency at all levels, for example regarding progress made towards sustainability, c) the extent to which companies believe that other companies are
willing to engage, and d) the degree to which people governing and implementing such systems are considered trustworthy, depending for example on possible historical incidences of corruption and fraud associated with such systems. Based on this perspective, the project aims: to provide an overview of calculation methods & tools to assess the sustainability of various biomass and bioenergy supply chains and discuss needs, possibilities and limitations of a global, uniform/harmonized framework; to compare and assess the legitimacy, including effectiveness and efficiency of a variety of approaches on how to govern and verify sustainability of biomass and bioenergy supply chains in different conditions; and to understand the positions and underlying motivations of stakeholder groups relative to their perceptions of bioenergy and inform dialogues/discussions to avoid misconceptions and gain trust in bioenergy sector.

Contact:

Prof. Dr. Martin Junginger
Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
h.m.junginger@uu.nl

 

Trans boundary flow of solid biomass waste streams in Europe and its effect on the country’s energy system

The aim of this study is to quantify the trans boundary shipment data for the solid biomass waste in Europe for the years 2010 – 2015. The study discusses the major importers and exporters of solid biomass waste especially hazardous as well as non hazardous wood waste in Europe, the current as well as future trends in this sector, the trade maps and key drivers of the import and export of solid biomass waste. It further discusses
the key drivers such as the legislations surrounding the trans boundary shipment of waste in the EU and its individual member states and capacity factor of the wood waste to energy industries established in the EU countries. Finally, it analyzes the primary energy supply of the imported wood waste in every country and its contribution in the bioenergy supply in the energy share of a country. The time period of the study is chosen from 2010 till 2015. The countries which are actively participating in the shipment of the solid biomass waste majorly wood waste are chosen and are examined as individual cases.

Contact:

Prof. Dr. Martin Junginger
Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
h.m.junginger@uu.nl

 

Update study of International energy biomass trade

One of the key objectives of Task 40 is to facilitate the development of international biomass market. When all types of biomass are taken into account, the biomass market is a complex entity. Biomass is harvested for various end-use purposes (food, raw-material and energy) and it is traded in various forms (raw, processed or within products). As Task 40 focuses on biomass markets, updated information on the development of the biomass trade for energy (including the total trade volume and trade volumes of most important energy biomass streams) is of importance. Reliable public statistics on the global trade of biomass for energy purposes are not easily accessed nor available although a number of organizations collect and publish statistics at a regular basis.

Since the establishment of the Task 40, international biomass trade streams and volumes have been investigated occasionally by Task 40 members. The last analysis was published in 2013. The objective of the study is to update the energy biomass trade stream figures up to the year 2015 and also to consider the need to update the methodologies applied in the past studies.

Contact:

Dr. Jussi Heinimo
Mikkeli Development Miksei Ltd
jussi.heinimo@mikseimikkeli.fi  

 

Socio-economic assessment of two supply chains of imported biomass (pellets) to the EU: Brazil and the USA

Due to the EU objectives to reduce emissions under the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) (EC, 2009) and the objectives of pushing forward the green economy in the EU, the biomass exports for electricity, heat and biomaterials is expected to increase in the next 20 years. Several studies have been conducted to evaluate the main supply chains regarding environmental issues such as GHG emissions, land use, and indirect land use. Nevertheless, few studies have been conducted to better understand the socio-economic implications of this production and use for specific supply chains feeding the European market and, in particular, assessing the impacts on smallholders or on communities. The Overseas Development Institute (Locke and Henley 2014) indicated that a starting point for assessing socio-economic impacts would be to use a different analytical framework to assess the balance and the distribution of different impacts on (socio-economic) issues with comparison points. It also recommended using more data from baseline surveys and longitudinal studies that allow comparison before-and-after impacts and comparison over time and across target populations.

To tackle this knowledge gap, this project proposes to conduct a detailed assessment of socio-economic impacts of biomass production and conversion supply chain with the EU biomass market target. Two case studies will be developed: one for Brazil, a potential supplier of solid biomass, and the other for the US, which is the largest exporter to the EU. A framework to conduct the study will be developed and an assessment of the socio-economic impacts based on previous work conducted by the researchers.

Contact:

Rocio A Diaz-Chavez
Imperial College London
r.diaz-chavez@imperial.ac.uk