Transboundary flows of woody biomass waste streams in Europe

Date Jan 2019


This joint IEA Bioenergy Task 36 and Task 40  report focuses on trans boundary shipment flows of solid biomass waste, particularly wood waste (hazardous and non-hazardous), in the north-western part of Europe in the years 2010-2016. Non-hazardous wood waste is a rather cheap fuel in comparison to other solid biomass resources and hence is used in some countries for bioenergy production on a significant scale.

The main importers of both hazardous and non-hazardous wood waste are Germany and Sweden with a yearly import of 600+ kilotonnes (KT). The Netherlands also imports non-hazardous wood waste from the UK and Belgium for the feedstock of its bioenergy plants. The main exporters of non-hazardous wood waste are the UK, The Netherlands and Norway. The combined exports exceed 1200 KT in recent years. The major exporter for hazardous wood waste is The Netherlands with a yearly average of 100 KT to Germany.

The key driver for both hazardous and non-hazardous wood waste utilization is legislation and policies, which differ between the countries investigated in this report. The support provided by legislation and policies in a country can pave way for a better capacity to deal with hazardous as well as non-hazardous wood waste. The trade of non-hazardous wood waste is mainly driven by the installed wood waste combustion capacity in importing countries, particularly in Germany and Sweden, as opposed to the lack of capacity in other (exporting) countries like the UK, Norway or the Netherlands.