Sourcing overseas biomass for EU ambitions: assessing net sustainable export potential from various sourcing countries

Thuy Mai-Moulin*, Lotte Visser, Kevin R. Fingerman, Wolter Elbersen, Berien Elbersen, Gert-Jan Nabuurs, Uwe R. Fritsche, Inés Del Campo Colmenar, Dominik Rutz, Rocio A. Diaz-Chavez, Axel Roozen, Mathijs Weck, Leire Iriarte, Luc Pelkmans, David Sanchez Gonzalez, Rainer Janssen, Martin Junginger

*Corresponding author for this work

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5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Low‐cost sustainable biomass availability in the European Union may not be able to meet increasing demand; exploring the option of importing biomass is therefore imperative for the years to come. This article assesses sustainable biomass export potential from Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Ukraine, and the United States by applying a number of sustainability criteria. Only biomass types with the highest potential are selected, to take advantage of economies of scale, e.g. pulpwood, wood waste, and residues in the United States, and agricultural residues in Ukraine. This study found that, except for the United States, pellet markets in the sourcing regions are largely undeveloped. The export potential depends strongly on pellet mill capacity and assumed growth rates in the pellet industry. Results show that the United States, Ukraine, Indonesia, and Brazil offer the highest biomass export potential. In the Business As Usual 2030 scenario, up to 204 PJ could potentially be mobilized; in the High Export scenario this could increase to 1423 PJ, with 89% of the potential being available for costs ranging from 6.4 to 15 €/GJ. These potentials meet the European Commission requirements for a 70% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions set in the Renewable Energy Directive. The total export potentials do not reflect the net possible import potentials to the European Union, as biomass could be imported to other countries where there is a demand for it, where less strict sustainability requirements are applied, and which are proximate to the sourcing regions, notably South Korea, Japan, and China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-324
JournalBiofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining
Volume13
Issue number2
Early online date22 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

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Biomass
Sustainable development
Wood wastes
Agricultural wastes
Gas emissions
Greenhouse gases
Industry
Availability
Costs
European Union

Cite this

Mai-Moulin, Thuy ; Visser, Lotte ; Fingerman, Kevin R. ; Elbersen, Wolter ; Elbersen, Berien ; Nabuurs, Gert-Jan ; Fritsche, Uwe R. ; Del Campo Colmenar, Inés ; Rutz, Dominik ; Diaz-Chavez, Rocio A. ; Roozen, Axel ; Weck, Mathijs ; Iriarte, Leire ; Pelkmans, Luc ; Sanchez Gonzalez, David ; Janssen, Rainer ; Junginger, Martin. / Sourcing overseas biomass for EU ambitions: assessing net sustainable export potential from various sourcing countries. In: Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining. 2019 ; Vol. 13, No. 2. pp. 293-324.
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title = "Sourcing overseas biomass for EU ambitions: assessing net sustainable export potential from various sourcing countries",
abstract = "Low‐cost sustainable biomass availability in the European Union may not be able to meet increasing demand; exploring the option of importing biomass is therefore imperative for the years to come. This article assesses sustainable biomass export potential from Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Ukraine, and the United States by applying a number of sustainability criteria. Only biomass types with the highest potential are selected, to take advantage of economies of scale, e.g. pulpwood, wood waste, and residues in the United States, and agricultural residues in Ukraine. This study found that, except for the United States, pellet markets in the sourcing regions are largely undeveloped. The export potential depends strongly on pellet mill capacity and assumed growth rates in the pellet industry. Results show that the United States, Ukraine, Indonesia, and Brazil offer the highest biomass export potential. In the Business As Usual 2030 scenario, up to 204 PJ could potentially be mobilized; in the High Export scenario this could increase to 1423 PJ, with 89{\%} of the potential being available for costs ranging from 6.4 to 15 €/GJ. These potentials meet the European Commission requirements for a 70{\%} reduction in greenhouse gas emissions set in the Renewable Energy Directive. The total export potentials do not reflect the net possible import potentials to the European Union, as biomass could be imported to other countries where there is a demand for it, where less strict sustainability requirements are applied, and which are proximate to the sourcing regions, notably South Korea, Japan, and China.",
author = "Thuy Mai-Moulin and Lotte Visser and Fingerman, {Kevin R.} and Wolter Elbersen and Berien Elbersen and Gert-Jan Nabuurs and Fritsche, {Uwe R.} and {Del Campo Colmenar}, In{\'e}s and Dominik Rutz and Diaz-Chavez, {Rocio A.} and Axel Roozen and Mathijs Weck and Leire Iriarte and Luc Pelkmans and {Sanchez Gonzalez}, David and Rainer Janssen and Martin Junginger",
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Mai-Moulin, T, Visser, L, Fingerman, KR, Elbersen, W, Elbersen, B, Nabuurs, G-J, Fritsche, UR, Del Campo Colmenar, I, Rutz, D, Diaz-Chavez, RA, Roozen, A, Weck, M, Iriarte, L, Pelkmans, L, Sanchez Gonzalez, D, Janssen, R & Junginger, M 2019, 'Sourcing overseas biomass for EU ambitions: assessing net sustainable export potential from various sourcing countries', Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 293-324. https://doi.org/10.1002/bbb.1853

Sourcing overseas biomass for EU ambitions: assessing net sustainable export potential from various sourcing countries. / Mai-Moulin, Thuy; Visser, Lotte; Fingerman, Kevin R.; Elbersen, Wolter; Elbersen, Berien; Nabuurs, Gert-Jan; Fritsche, Uwe R.; Del Campo Colmenar, Inés; Rutz, Dominik; Diaz-Chavez, Rocio A.; Roozen, Axel; Weck, Mathijs; Iriarte, Leire; Pelkmans, Luc; Sanchez Gonzalez, David; Janssen, Rainer; Junginger, Martin.

In: Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Vol. 13, No. 2, 03.2019, p. 293-324.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AU - Mai-Moulin, Thuy

AU - Visser, Lotte

AU - Fingerman, Kevin R.

AU - Elbersen, Wolter

AU - Elbersen, Berien

AU - Nabuurs, Gert-Jan

AU - Fritsche, Uwe R.

AU - Del Campo Colmenar, Inés

AU - Rutz, Dominik

AU - Diaz-Chavez, Rocio A.

AU - Roozen, Axel

AU - Weck, Mathijs

AU - Iriarte, Leire

AU - Pelkmans, Luc

AU - Sanchez Gonzalez, David

AU - Janssen, Rainer

AU - Junginger, Martin

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