Mobilizing Sustainable Bioenergy Supply Chains

Nov 2015

‘Mobilizing sustainable bioenergy supply chains’ is a project carried out in the period 2013-2016, with involvement of many IEA Bioenergy experts. The project analysed sustainable bioenergy production systems to determine the factors critical to their mobilisation through a series of case studies. This work focused on five globally strategically significant bioenergy supply chains representing major global biomes and potential primary and residue supplies:

1.       forest biomass from temperate and boreal ecosystems;

2.       agricultural crop residues in Denmark, Canada and the USA;

3.       regional biogas production from municipal solid waste (MSW), oil palm residues and co-digestion of municipal and agricultural wastes;

4.       integrating lignocellulosic crops into agricultural landscapes;

5.       pasture and grassland cultivation in Brazil.


Significant opportunities exist to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase domestic energy security, boost rural economies and even improve local environmental conditions through the

deployment of sustainable bioenergy and bio-based product supply chains. There is currently a wide variety of promising feedstocks, conversion pathways and different end products that can be produced at a range of scales. The study confirmed that feedstocks can be mobilised to make significant contributions to achieving global targets for bioenergy. However, there are a number of technical, institutional, and socioeconomic challenges to realise opportunities on a wider scale.

Some of the solutions are: continued research and development in supply chain optimisation; increase supply chain efficiencies through technology transfer and learning-through-doing; streamlining biomass supply chains with existing silvicultural and agricultural practices; using small-scale, niche applications as a platform for scaling up; improved financing opportunities for bioenergy. Furthermore, good governance systems are critical to ensuring that positive impacts are maximised and sustainability is realised at each point along the various supply chains.



          Synthesis report,

          Short summary,

          Forest biomass (Book),

          Agricultural residues,

          Biogas cases,

          Lignocellulosic crops, in finalization

          Grassland and pastures,