Biomass Feedstocks for Energy Markets

Countries Australia, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, USA and the European Commission


Associate Professor Ioannis Dimitriou
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Department of Crop Production Ecology
PO Box 7043, SE-756 51, UPPSALA

Tel: +46 18 672553

Task Secretary

Sally Krigstin Assistant
Professor University of Toronto Faculty of Forestry
33 Willcocks St. TorontoON M5S 3B3

+1 416 946-8507


1.         Definitions and Objective


(a)  Definitions

‘Short Rotation Crops’ (SRC) for bioenergy are both non-woody and woody crops in which biomass for energy is a significant product. They comprise systems based on annual or perennial plants, including trees grown on short rotations (both coppice and single-stem plantations).

‘Conventional forestry systems’ means the systems in use for the establishment, management and harvesting of conventional forest products such as pulpwood and timber, in natural forests and fast-growing single-stem plantations, but excluding short-rotation coppice systems specifically designed for energy production.

‘Sustainable production’ means that measures taken and technologies used to furnish specified products do not materially reduce the capacity of the forest to furnish the same quantity and quality of products in the future, with respect to a broad range of criteria including ecosystem condition, global ecological cycles, economics, material benefits and social considerations.

Bioenergy’ is the production, conversion and use of material which is directly or indirectly produced by photosynthesis to manufacture fuels and substitutes for petrochemical and other energy-intensive products.

 ‘Social aspects of bioenergy systems’ means any impact or contribution of biomass production and use for energy production to employment, education, health and other social factors.

‘Economic aspects of bioenergy’ means any contribution or benefit of biomass production and use for energy production for financial benefits, local industry creation, infrastructure developments, and other economic factors.

(b)          ‘Objective

The Task, which incorporates the former Task 29 – Socio-economic Drivers for Implementing Bioenergy Projects, will address critical issues regarding sustainable bioenergy supply chains, including social, economic and environmental consequences of feedstock production and supply. The objective is to promote sound bioenergy development that is driven by well-informed decisions in business, governments and elsewhere.

2.         Scope of the Task


(a)     The Participants will have R&D programmes within their countries in order to meet the above objective;

(b)     The Participants will carry out co-operative research work towards reaching the objective described in paragraph 1(b) above, based on the national R&D programmes referred to in sub-paragraph (a) above;

(c)     The Task will address issues critical to mobilising sustainable bioenergy supply chains, including biomass markets, interaction with the food and fibre production, and the social, economic and environmental aspects and drivers of different strategies for producing bioenergy feedstock. The Task has a global scope and includes commercial, near-commercial and promising production systems in agriculture and forestry. The primary focus is on land use and bioenergy feedstock production systems including their markets and local socioeconomic context.

Recognising the need to integrate feedstock supply with energy conversion and end-use, the Task will collaborate with other cross-cutting Tasks as well as conversion Tasks to ensure that analytical and conceptual linkages with end-use and markets are strong. The Task will dedicate significant capacity to inter-Task projects that have a wider scope including aspects covered by other Tasks. Task 43 has been appointed coordinating Task for the inter-Task project ‘Mobilising Sustainable Bioenergy Supply Chains’, which was approved at ExCo69.

The Task intends to maintain as a central aim to achieve strong outreach and impacts and will continue to work with other Tasks as well as influential organisations outside IEA Bioenergy. The Task will also be organised so as to have capacity to respond promptly to demands from either ExCo or from outside the organisation.

(d)     The Programme of Work undertaken will be organised to effectively meet the objectives presented above. More specifically, the Task has planned the following programme activities:

(i)         Studies integrating several disciplines will be employed to conduct analyses that allow evaluation of land and biomass use options across sectors and explicit examination of issues related to trade-offs, compatibility and synergies between food, fibre and energy production systems and related markets.

(ii)        Task meetings and international workshops will be arranged to further advance understanding and communication of outcomes related to key questions for the Task.

(iii)      Inter-Task projects addressing questions that concern several Tasks are envisioned for the coming triennium. The Task intends to take responsibility for coordinating the inter-Task project ‘Mobilising sustainable bioenergy supply chains’, involving also Tasks 38, 39, 40 & 42.

(iv)      The Task will also collaborate with organisations outside IEA Bioenergy.

The focus of the work programme will reflect the bioenergy agendas in the participating countries as well as international developments. Based on the work of both Task 29 and 43 during the preceding triennium, and feedback received from the Executive Committee and National Team Leaders of those preceding Tasks key areas have been identified for Task focus as follows:

–     Land use and sustainable bioenergy feedstock supply systems;

–     Assessment and certification of sustainability;

–     Socio-economic drivers in implementing sustainable bioenergy production and supply.