Future Perspectives of International Bioenergy Trade

Aug 2013

This study aims to provide insight into “possible futures” of bioenergy trade and discuss implications and challenges related to different developments. The sub-objectives of this study are:
– Investigate to which extent various global energy models and scenarios take into account bioenergy trade,
– Identify the implications of different global bioenergy scenarios on bioenergy trade,
– Summarize the range of results into 3-5 storylines of future international bioenergy trade.

The insight into future scenarios and perspectives of bioenergy trade revealed that substantial challenges for the future development of global and international bioenergy trade may be expected in the coming decades if a low carbon energy system is to be developed. The theoretical and technical biomass potentials in many models are often quite optimistic, and sustainable biomass potentials are only included to a limited extent, as these are often hard to quantify and are also not the main aim of the models. It remains to be seen how global, stringent mandatory sustainaibility requirements (e.g. on water use, biodiversity, forest carbon accounting and iLUC) would limit the production, trade and use of feedstocks in the first place, but also how practical certification of biomass would affect bioenergy trade.

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