Innovative approaches for mobilization of forest biomass for energy

Feb 2019

Based on the definitions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, forest biomass feedstocks include:

– Unutilized (or surplus) forest growth that have no taker by conventional forest industries;

– primary residues i.e. by-products of harvesting and silvicultural operations;

– secondary residues, i.e. low-quality by-products of the industrial processing of wood;

– tertiary residues, i.e. post-consumer material such as demolition wood and scrap pallets.

Due to various logistical, social, market and policy challenges, these biomass resources are often left behind in forest value streams of various jurisdictions around the world: they usually end up in open burning, landfill or burned up in boilers with low efficiency for heat and power generation, or left on forest sites. However, they represent opportunities to increase production of bioenergy and therefore contribute to the global energy transition towards renewable sources, and also opportunities to revitalize and diversify regional industrial networks in forest regions.

This IEA Bioenergy Task 43 report aims to provide insights and recommendations for the development of pathways to maximize the value from often underutilized sources of forest biomass. It is presented around case studies that deal with supply, logistics, conversion, social, environmental, market and policy aspects of forest biomass mobilization.