Biomass Energy

Biomass consumption continues to increase worldwide for the provision of heat and electricity. The production of liquid and gaseous biofuels for transport and stationary applications is also rising. Approximately 60% of total biomass used for energy purposes is traditional biomass: fuel wood (some converted to charcoal), crop residues, and animal dung that are gathered by hand and usually combusted in open fires or inefficient stoves for cooking, heat for dwellings, and some lighting.1 (See Section 5 on Distributed Renewable Energy in Developing Countries.) The remaining biomass is used for modern bioenergy, which is the focus of this section.2

Sustainability and livelihood concerns associated with the use of biomass continue to be debated, especially where linked with deforestation, and where land and water used for energy crop production competes with food and fibre crops.3 In addition, there is uncertainty about the use of biomass being truly "carbon neutral" within the relevant time frame due to the time lag between carbon release during combustion and carbon (re-) sequestration via re-growth of the harvested crops.4 (See Sidebar 3.)

For modern bioenergy, the many forms of energy carriers produced from a variety of biomass resources—including organic wastes, purpose-grown energy crops, and algae—can provide a range of useful energy services such as lighting, communication, heating, cooling, and mobility.i The ability of the solid, liquid, or gaseous biomass resource to act as a store of chemical energy for future use can be employed to balance variable electricity generation from wind and solar systems when integrated into mini-grids or an existing main grid.5

The bioenergy sector is highly complex due to the variety of potential feedstocks and technical routes for converting biomass to energy. Large data gaps often exist in the assessment of biomass volumes used for energy carriers and final energy. Further, biomass often relies on widely dispersed, non-commercial sources, which makes it difficult to formally track data and trends. National data collection is often carried out by multiple institutions that are not always well co-ordinated. As a result, production and demand for biomass and bioenergy are relatively difficult to measure, even at the local level; hence, national, regional, and global data are uncertain.6 (See Sidebar 1, page 23, and Figure 5, page 31; see also Sidebar 2 in GSR 2012.)

Figure 5. Biomass Resources and Energy Pathways

* Organic solid and liquid wastes

Source: See Endnote 6 for this section.

i - See Figure 5 in GSR 2013.


There is a continuing debate around the sustainability of biomass use for energy, particularly with respect to the carbon footprint. Many research and policy endeavours in recent years have focussed on quantifying the greenhouse gas emissions associated with direct and indirect land-use change. To date, the focus has been almost exclusively on liquid biofuel production systems. However, the increasing use of solid biomass—forest biomass in particular—in modern applications (for example, wood chips in residential heating or district heating plants, or co-firing of wood pellets in coal-fired power plants) has recently shifted the focus of the carbon footprint debate.

There appears to be general agreement among stakeholders that carbon emitted through the combustion of biomass for energy production was and will again be sequestered from the atmosphere, if the quantity of biomass used can be associated with the regrowth of a crop or forest in a sustainable (biomass) management system. However, there is concern about the time lag between carbon release via combustion and carbon (re-) sequestration via plant growth. A temporal carbon imbalance is relevant particularly for forest biomass systems that have relatively long rotation cycles, and generally for bioenergy's potential to effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the medium-to-long term. Therefore, consensus is emerging to account for biogenic carbon emissions over time, although the principles to do so and the respective expectations vary considerably.

To date, much of the scientific work has focussed on determining the "carbon payback" period—the time frame by when a bioenergy system has reached its pre-harvest biogenic carbon levels and is also compensated for associated land-use and fossil fuel emissions. Results differ depending on the modelling framework and assumptions regarding affected ecosystems, conversion technologies, and behavioural economics. Generally, the use of residues from tree harvesting (tops, branches, and thinning of small trees) or wood processing (shavings, offcuts, sawdust) entails shorter carbon payback periods than the use of large-diameter stemwood, especially from slow-growing forests or low-productive regions. The use of smaller-diameter, pulpwood quality logs from fast-growing plantation forests in highly productive regions, however, can achieve relatively short carbon payback periods.

In addition, there is disagreement around what duration of carbon payback is acceptable. The two most commonly used time frames in the literature are 2050, which is relevant for policy trajectories, and 2100, which is considered relevant for stabilisation of the atmospheric carbon levels. Timeline selection influences which bioenergy systems—for example, type of feedstock, scale of magnitude, technology choices—should be considered.

Another key determining factor for a given bioenergy project is linked to alternative land-use and energy sources: that is, what would happen on the land and what energy source would be employed without the use of biomass? Answers depend on regional circumstances that vary with market conditions for wood products, forest management practices, and alternative energy systems; and perspectives on these conditions may differ among stakeholders.

Policy options to deal with biogenic carbon emissions include mechanisms that quantify associated emissions, such as the integration of forest carbon accounting in a full life-cycle assessment (LCA), although there is not a scientific consensus on how to model forest products appropriately. Preventative policy approaches include requirements for sustainable forest management that guarantee replanting and sustained carbon stocks/yields, as well as actively encouraging/discouraging the use of specific land and biomass types, such as peat soils, whose drainage releases large amounts of greenhouse gases. Conversely, promoting afforestation and reforestation of woody biomass and perennial grass production on marginal and unused land can create immediate net carbon benefits.i

Current policy options in Europe and North America entail all of these approaches. In 2013, for example, the U.K. government provided a draft greenhouse gas calculator (including default values) to quantify the respective emission reductions of forest biomass use for energy as part of its Renewable Obligation Scheme. Also the Dutch government announced the investigation of a specific carbon debt criterion in 2014.

i - A policy option would, for example, include the compensation or generation of carbon credits for tree planting, in proportion to the net CO2 absorption/sequestration.

Source: See Endnote 4 for this section.


In 2013, biomass accounted for about 10% of global primary energy supply—or an estimated 56.6 EJ.7 The "modern biomass" share included approximately 13 EJ to supply heat in the building and industry sectors; an estimated 5 EJ converted to produce around 116 billion litres of biofuels (assuming 60% conversion efficiency of the original biomass), and a similar amount used to generate an estimated 405 TWh of electricity (assuming 30% conversion efficiency).8 Useful heat is also often generated in bioenergy combined heat and power (CHP) plants, but the total quantities are unknown because much of this is consumed on-site and not tracked.

The leading markets for biomass energy are diverse and vary depending on the fuel type. Use of modern biomass is spreading rapidly, particularly across Asia.9 Biomass is meeting a growing share of energy demand in many countries and accounts for a significant portion of total energy in some countries. For example, end-use shares exceed 25% in Sweden, Finland, Latvia, and Estonia.10

Most primary biomass used for energy is in a solid form and includes charcoal, fuel wood, crop residues (predominantly for traditional heating and cooking), organic municipal solid waste (MSW)i, wood pellets, and wood chips (predominantly in modern and/or larger-scale facilities). Wood pellets and wood chips, as well as biodiesel and ethanol, all are now commonly traded internationally in large volumes; in addition, some biomethane is traded in Europe through gas grids.11 There is also significant informal trade in solid biomass that takes place regionally and across national borders.12

The total energy content of aII solid biomass fuels traded (mainly pellets and wood chips) remains about twice that contained in the net trade of liquid biofuels.13 Wood pellets account for only around 1-2% of global solid biomass demand, yet the volume of consumption continued to increase rapidly during 2013.14

Bio-heat Markets

Solid, liquid, and gaseous biomass fuels can be combusted to provide higher-temperature heat (200-400 °C) that is used by industry, district heating schemes, and agricultural processes, as well as lower-temperature heat (<100 °C) that is used for drying, heating water for domestic or industrial use, and heating space in individual buildings. Approximately 3 GWth of new biomass heat capacity was commissioned in 2013, bringing the global total capacity to an estimated 296 GWth.15 Biomass is the most widely used renewable source for heating by far, accounting for approximately 90% of heat from modern renewables; solid biomass is the primary fuel source.16

Europe remained the world's largest consumer of modern bio-heat in 2013. The region's use of solid biomass for heat was up 5.4% in 2012 (the latest year for which data are available).17 In 2013, Germany generated almost 116.6 TWh (424 PJ) of heat from biomass, up from 112.6 TWh (405 PJ) in 2012; 88% of this was from solid biomass.18 In Sweden, bioenergy (mostly from woody biomass) accounted for more than half of all space heating in the housing and commercial sectors, either through direct use in boilers or indirectly through heat plants and district heating.19 Wood was also the leading fuel for the district heat system during 2013 in Finland.20 A large portion of Europe's bio-heat is produced for district heating networks, and sales into heat networks increased 12.9% in 2012.21

Use of biomass in small appliances has risen as well. By 2013, Europe's total stock of small-scale biomass boilers was about 8 million appliances, with annual sales of around 300,000 units. In addition to other modern appliance designs, around 1.85 million wood-burning stoves, cookers and fireplaces are sold annually, with a total of some 55 million in operation.22

The EU is the largest regional consumer of wood pellets, burning over 15 million tonnes in 2013 (up 1 million tonnes annually since 2010), with the largest share of demand coming from the residential heat market.23 The use of biomass, including pellets, for heat production is increasing in North America as well.24 In the United States, the largest domestic market for the consumption of wood pellets for heating is located in the northeast.25

Biogas also is being used increasingly for heat production. In developed countries, it is used primarily in CHP plants, with relatively small amounts used in heat-only plants. In 2012, most of the biogas produced in Europe was used on-site or traded locally. Most was combusted to produce 110 TJ of heat and 44.5 GWh of electricity.26 The small remainder used by the transport sector was first upgraded to biomethaneii, with limited volumes now being traded among EU member states by injection into the natural gas grid. Considerable effort is under way to remove trade barriers in order to expand this potential.27

A number of large-scale plants that run on biogas are also operating across Asia and Africa, including many for industrial process heat.28 Biogas is also produced in small, domestic-scale digesters, mainly in developing countries—including China, india, Nepal, and Rwanda—and is combusted directly to provide heat for cooking.

Bio-power Markets

An estimated 5 GW of bio-power capacity was added for a total of 88 GW in operation at the end of 2013. Bio-power generated around 405 TWh of the world's electricity in 2013, assuming an average capacity factor of over 50%.30 The United States is the top producer of electricity from biomass, followed by Germany, China, and Brazil. Other top countries for bio-power include India, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Sweden.31

The United States added nearly 0.8 GW of bio-power capacity in 2013 for a total exceeding 15.8 GW at year's end.32 Net U.S. bio-power generation increased 3.9% compared with 2012, to 60 TWh.33 Solid biomass provided two-thirds of the total fuel, and the remainder came from landfill gas (16%), organic MSW (12%), and other wastes (6%).34

To the south, Brazil increased its bio-power capacity more than 10%, from 10.8 GW to 11.4 GW. Electricity generated from sugarcane bagasse accounted for nearly 7% of national electricity production, up from 6.7% in 2012, and the black liquor share rose to over 1.1% (from just under 1%).35

In the EU, capacity additions during the year brought the region's total to about 34.5 GW.36 Bio-power accounted for 5% of the region's new power capacity from all sources.37 Electricity generated from biomass increased 7.9% relative to 2012, to 79 TWh.38

Germany's bio-power capacity increased by more than 0.5 GW, to just over 8 GW by year's end.39 Bio-power generation was up about 7% to 48 TWh, and it accounted for 8% of Germany's total electricity generation in 2013.40 Sweden continued to generate around 10% of total electricity from bio-power, with most of it coming from solid biomass.41

i - Municipal solid waste includes inorganic (e.g., plastics) as well as organic components, of which only the latter are renewable. Only the organic component is quoted in this report where possible, although data sources do not always separate out the share of "green" MSW from the remainder.

ii - Biomethane is produced from biogas after removal of carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide. It can be injected into the natural gas pipeline and is also used as a vehicle fuel.

Most wood pellets that are traded globally are used for electricity generation. Inthe EU, residential heating accounts for the largest share of pellet demand, but there is a large and growing demand for imported wood pellets to produce electricity.42 To meet this growing demand, the EU imported around 6.4 million tonnes in 2013. About 75% of total imports were from North America (an increase of 55% over 2012), and much of the remainder came from Russia and Eastern Europe.43 (See Reference Table R3.)

Use of biogas for power generation also is rising rapidly in Europe. By the end of 2012, more than 13,800 biogas power plants (up roughly 1,400 over the year), with a total installed capacity of 7.5 GW, were in operation.44 Germany has seen rapid growth, particularly during 2009-2011, and still dominates the market.45 However, while capacity expansion has continued since then, Germany's rate of annual increase has slowed in response to changes in the renewable energy law.46 Sweden also has growing bio-power shares from gaseous fuels.47

In China, bio-powercapacityroseveryrapidlyforseveralyears, but growth has slowed recently due to limited availability of suitable biomass.48 By the end of 2013, bio-power capacity reached 6.2 GW (excluding 2.3 GW of waste-to-energy combustion). Most of this was direct combustion of agricultural and forestry biomass, including 1.7 GW of bagasse, 1.2 GW from gasification of sludge and biomass, 0.3 GW of large-scale biogas, and other sources.49

India was also one of the top markets in 2013, adding about 0.4 GW of bio-power capacity in 2013, mostly by bagasse-based CHP plants, to reach a total of over 4.4 GW by year's end.50 However, India's capacity additions were around 40% below those in 2012, and around 10% below the national target.51

Elsewhere in Asia, Japan added 0.1 GW under the new feed-in tariff, for an estimated 3.4 GW at the end of 2013.52 In Thailand, electricity from biomass, including biogas, has increased rapidly over the past decade, and growth is set to continue with new capacity under construction.53 In 2013, a contract was signed for construction of a 9.5 MW facility in Samut Sakhon that will run on coconut wastes (husks, shells, fronds, and leaves), and the electricity will feed into the public grid under the attractive biomass FIT.54

Demand for bio-power is also driven by the renovation of old and idled coal-fired power plants and their conversion to 100% biomass. Expansion is occurring in the United States and elsewhere.55 However, concerns about the revised regulatory and policy framework in the United Kingdom led E.ON to halt its plans to convert an existing coal plant to bioenergy.56

Conversion of fossil fuel power plants to enable co-firing with varying shares of solid biomass or biogas/landfill gas is also increasing demand. By 2013, about 230 existing commercial coal- and natural gas-fired power and CHP plants had been converted, mainly in Europe and the United States but also in Asia, Australia, and elsewhere.57 In Japan, Sumitomo Osaka Cement, Nippon Paper Industries, and Idemitsu Kosan took advantage of the national FIT for bio-power to reduce their dependence on coal by part-substituting wood chips and other biomass feedstocks.58 Further developments have been constrained, however, with increasing awareness of practical handling and operating limitations, such as reduced power output with higher biomass shares.59

Transport Biofuel Markets

Global biofuel consumption and production increased 7% in 2013, to a total of 116.6 billion litres, following a slight decline in 2012.60 (See Figure 6). World fuel ethanol volumes were up around 5% to 87.2 billion litres, and biodiesel production was up over 11% to 26.3 billion litresi. Hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) continued to increase, but from a low base.

North America remained the top region for the production and consumption of ethanol, followed by Latin America. Once again, Europe produced and consumed the largest share of biodiesel. In Asia, production of both ethanol and biodiesel continued to increase rapidly.61 Thailand, for example, continued its rapid expansion of biofuels production (both ethanol and biodiesel), which rose by around 30% in 2013 (after a 28% increase in 2012).62 Its growth is due primarily to the Renewable Energy Development Plan.63 (See Reference Table R4.)

Global ethanol production was dominated by the United States and Brazil, which retained their top spots and accounted for 87% of the global total.64 U.S. ethanol production in 2013, at around 50 billion litres, was similar to 2012 production, and almost all of this was made from corn feedstock.65 Ethanol displaced about 10% of U.S. gasoline transport demand during the year.66 In addition, nearly 2.4 billion litres (630 million gallons) was exported, primarily to Canada (54%) and the Philippines (9%); the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru were also leading markets for U.S. ethanol.67 There was also significant demand for the co-products of ethanol production, including corn oil and livestock feed.68

Brazil increased its sugarcane ethanol production by 18% (up 4.2 billion litres) in 2013, to reach around 25.5 billion litres.69 Elsewhere in Latin America, Argentina nearly doubled its ethanol production to almost 0.5 million litres, with the opening of a large corn ethanol plant. The expansion was driven by Argentina's 5% ethanol fuel blend mandate.70 Other significant producers of ethanol included China (2 billion litres) and Canada (1.8 billion litres).71

The EU has been the largest regional biodiesel producer for years and, in 2013, it accounted for 10.5 billion litres of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) production plus 1.8 billion litres of HVO.72 However, its share of the global total (about 42%) has remained static in recent years.73

By contrast, U.S. production of both biodiesel FAME and HVO has risen rapidly over the past few years and accounted for 17% of the global total in 2013 (up from 14.5% in 2012).74 Production was up by one-third over the year to approximately 5.1 billion litres, making the United States again the largest national producer.75 U.S. output exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) target under the federal renewable fuels standard (RFS), which called for inclusion of 4.8 billion litres (1.28 billion gallons) in diesel fuel markets in 2013.76

i - Biodiesel is FAME (fatty acid methyl esters), with data for HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil, also known as "renewable diesel") shown separately. HVO is a "drop-in" biofuel produced from waste oils, fats, and vegetable oils and has different markets than FAME biodiesel, including potential as aviation fuel. HVO blends more easily with diesel and jet fuel than does FAM E, has a lower processing cost, is compatible with existing diesel infrastructure, reduces nitrous oxide emissions, and has greater feedstock flexibility.

The United States was followed by Germany and Brazil, which both increased their biodiesel production by around 16% and 5%, respectively, to 3.1 billion litres and 2.9 billion litres. Argentina was the fourth largest producer, at 2.3 billion litres.77 However, Argentina's production declined almost 10% relative to 2012 as a result of anti-dumping duties placed by the European Commission on imports of U.S. and Argentine biodiesel.78

Demand for biodiesel in China is driven in part by tax and trade incentives. China supplemented its small annual domestic production of under 0.2 billion litres of biodiesel with about 1.9 billion litres of imported fuel.79 These imports took significant market share away from the state's oil refiners; in response, they boosted exports of petroleum diesel, which led China to levy a consumption tax on imported biodiesel as of 1 January 2014.80

Certification and sustainability requirements have affected international biodiesel trade. To take advantage of lower import duties and feedstock flexibility, for example, EU biodiesel producers have shifted the focus of their imports from biodiesel to vegetable oils, used cooking oils, and animal fats.81 In 2013, the Netherlands saw a strong increase in the import of palm oil and other certified vegetable oils, much of which was processed into HVO at facilities located at Dutch sea ports and then redistributed to other parts of Europe.82 Globally, the production of HVO increased around 16% in 2013, with most production in Europe (1.8 billion litres), Singapore (0.9 billion litres), and the United States (0.3 billion litres).83

Despite the increase in global production of biofuels, several markets faced challenges in 2013. These challenges included sustainability concerns, a reduction in transport fuel demand due to increased vehicle efficiency, and a growing interest in vehicles that run on electricity and compressed natural gas.84 As a result, markets were static in several countries.85 In Australia, for example, biofuels maintained a 0.6% share of the transport fuel mix in 2013, and the fuels have been slow to gain greater acceptance, in spite of the recently extended government grant programmes to encourage production, and a biofuels mandate in New South Wales.86

The use of biomethane as a transport fuel is increasing as well. In Sweden, for example, bus fleets in more than a dozen cities rely entirely on biomethane, local plants produce more than 60% of the total biomethane used in Swedish natural gas vehicles, and more filling stations opened in late 2012 and 2013.87 In Norway the company Cambi AS liquefies biomethane to provide fuel for a local bus fleet.88


The bioenergy industry includes feedstock suppliers and processors; firms that deliver biomass to end-users; manufacturers and distributors of specialist biomass harvesting, handling, and storage equipment; and manufacturers of appliances and hardware components designed to convert biomass to useful energy carriers and energy services. Some parts of the supply chain use technologies that are not exclusive to biomass (such as forage crop and tree harvesters, trucks, and steam boilers).

Rising concerns about sustainability, particularly in Europe and the United States, have led governments to define newguidelines and regulations for bioenergy. Industries have responded by adopting a number of initiatives by sector (e.g., for solid biomass in the EU), for power and heat through the Sustainable Biomass Partnership); by feedstock (e.g., the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil); and by fuel (e.g., the Renewable Fuels Association).89 Many bioenergy companies are participating voluntarily in sustainability certification schemes, using best management practices (as endorsed by the industry) for feedstock supply and processing, and absorbing associated costs into their operations. In several developing countries, the industry is also facing regulations that focus on the protection of biodiversity and impacts on poverty, land tenure, food security, and social equity.90 In addition, some corporate social responsibility (CSR) schemes are including social programmes.91

Figure 6. Ethanol, Biodiesel, and HVO Global Production, 2000-2013

Source: See Endnote 60 for this section.

The industry has also responded by producing a number of co-products from biomass feedstocks, such as chemicals and animal feeds. This practice, known as "bio-refining," can maximise value and enhance profitability while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. "bio-refinery" industry has expanded steadily, and, in 2013, it counted some 211 facilities that were producing a range of co-products with ethanol; another 165 were expanding or under construction.92 Biorefineries also exist in many other countries and include the newly opened Amyris plant in Brazil, which converts sugarcane plant sugars into a variety of renewable ingredients, including farnesene (used inter alia in flavourings) and patchouli (used in fragrances), together with renewable diesel and jet fuel.93

Solid Biomass Industry

During 2013, a large number of companies were actively engaged in supplying equipment and bioenergy plants that convert solid biomass—mainly wood chips and pellets—to heat and electricity. Businesses in the United States, Europe, Asia, and elsewhere were busy constructing new biomass heat and power plants.94

Particularly in the forest and sugar industries, CHP plants typically are used for providing process heat on site, with surplus electricity sold off-site as a source of revenue. Global waste-to-energy plants together with landfill gas plants provided revenue of around USD 12 billion in 2012, an amount that is projected to increase by around 30% over the next 3-4 years.95

Global pellet production reached 23.6 million tonnes in 2013, an increase of nearly 13% over 2012 volumes.96 (See Figure 7). The EU accounted for nearly half of global production, followed by North America (33%).97 Companies in Canada and the United States were busy building new pellet production facilities to keep up with European demand; their 2013 shipments were up 50% over 2012 and almost double those of 2011, reaching a value of more than USD 650 million.98 The production of torrefied pellets remained below 200,000 tonnes per year.99

In response to the increase in international trade of solid biomass, several shipping ports have begun to upgrade their handling facilities to remain competitive.100 For example, the Port of Amsterdam had invested around USD 138 million (EUR 100 million) in biomass handling and storage as of early 2014. The port handled the import of 100,000 tonnes of pellets and wood chips in 2013, and expects the quantity to rise rapidly.101 Further investment is planned for the construction of dedicated biomass storage capacity, with importers such as Cargill (United States) and CWT Europe (Netherlands) watching developments at several ports before committing their future business.102 In 2013, Korea Southern Power and other Korean energy and trading companies, including GS, LG, and Samsung, were exploring pellet import opportunities with suppliers from Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia, the United States, Thailand, Vietnam, and elsewhere.103

Gaseous Biomass Industry

In 2013, worldwide manufacture and installation of farm and community-scale biogas plants continued for the treatment of wet-waste biomass, including that from wastewater treatment plants. The year also saw a further expansion of efforts to upgrade biogas, sewage gas, and landfill gas to higher-quality biomethane for use as a vehicle fuel or for injection into the natural gas grid. Many food and fibre processing businesses continued to find innovative ways to produce energy from their own waste materials.

Production of biogas is expanding rapidly in a number of countries, although the actual volume of biogas produced is not known.104 In the United Kingdom, the number of plants producing biogas rose from 54 in 2011 to 112 in 2012, and, in 2013, the first U.K. plant to inject biomethane into the gas grid entered into operation.105 A further 200 U.K. sites had received planning consents by early 2014, with growth driven by policies to divert organic waste from landfill sites in order to meet the EU Directive.106 Elsewhere in Europe, rapid expansion has also been driven by policy changes.107 For example, Italy alone saw its number of operational biogas plants increase from 521 to 1,264 within a year, driven primarily by a high feed-in tariff and support focussed on small-scale plants.108 The Czech Republic and Slovakia also have seen significant expansion in the number of plants.109 In the United States, there were well over 2,200 plants producing biogas.110

Figure 7. Wood Pellet Global Production, by Country or Region, 2000-2013

Source: See Endnote 60 for this section.

The industry was busy in other regions as well, including Latin America. Brazil had 24 biogas production plants operating in 2013 with capacity totalling 84 MW, and more were planned.111 Companies in Chile and Colombia were producing biogas from their agricultural waste streams to generate electricity, some of which is fed into the grid.112

Several companies, including consultant SLR (U.K.), are building new landfill gas sites in Africa and other regions. However, the gas potential is often limited by waste composition, and poor control and management, which render the landfill sites unsuitable for gas production.113

Thanks to recent technology advancements, companies are able to produce gaseous fuels through the digestion of dry feedstocks, using either a hydrolyser via the Schmack pre-treatment process or a special Bioferm fermentation process.114 Göteborg Energi (Sweden) completed construction of a 20 MW facility that gasifies forest residues and then converts the synthesis gases—hydrogen and carbon monoxide—into biomethane.115 This novel approach aims for a 65% conversion efficiency of solid biomass to biomethane that is suitable for grid injection. The excess heat is used in a district heating scheme, resulting in 90% overall conversion efficiency.116

Liquid Biofuels Industry

Investment in biofuels production capacity continued to decline in 2013, down to USD 4.9 billion from the 2007 peak of USD 29.3 billion.117 And despite the increase in production and consumption, biofuels met only about 2.3% of total transport fuel demand.118 Yet several new plants opened in 2013, and the aviation industry demonstrated its continuing interest in the development and use of advanced biofuels.

In 2013, there were 210 fuel ethanol plants in 28 U.S. states, with installed nameplate capacity of more than 56 billion litres (14.9 billion gallons); of this total, 192 plants were in operation, representing production capacity of 53 billion litres. As of early 2014, another seven plants were under construction or expansion.119 Although the EU continued its anti-subsidy barrier against U.S. corn ethanol for another year, U.S. producers retained strong earnings in 2013, thanks mainly to lower corn prices (in 2012, prices were high due to drought). By early 2014, however, U.S. producers were concerned about the potential reduction to federal blending mandates and the possible future elimination of advanced biofuels incentives.120

In Brazil, the ethanol price paid to producers in Brazil rose 15% from January to December 2013, due to the higher oil prices and seasonal variations in sugarcane yields and sugar prices.121 During the year, Brazil had 367 registered sugarcane ethanol plants in operation, and additional biofuel production facilities were being planned.122 For example, in late 2013/early 2014, POET (United States) finalised the details of its 50 million litre per year corn ethanol plant that was to be constructed in Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.123 However, the company faced public concern about the expansion of corn ethanol production and the possible impacts on commodity prices and the local environment. The city already had two operating "flex"-ethanol plants (using sugar cane and corn as feedstocks).124

In Argentina, Promaíz S.A. began production at its new 130 million litre capacity facility, the country's largest ethanol plant using corn feedstock. The plant, which incorporates a continuous fermentation process, will provide biofuel to help meet Argentina's mandated E5 blend.125

The number of biodiesel producers in the United States reached 115 in 2013, with a total capacity of about 8.5 billion litres. Production margins were reduced after the loss of a federal tax credit for U.S. biodiesel blenders in 2011, and the industry continued to struggle in 2013, mainly because the price of soybeans (which constitute around half of the feedstock) did not decline as expected.126

In Brazil, in contrast to rise in ethanol prices, the competitive auction price for biodiesel declined by 12.7% compared with 2012. The decrease was due to high soybean production levels and strong global supply of vegetable oils. As a result, 60% of Brazil's biodiesel production capacity remained unused in 2013.127

Elsewhere around the world, several new processing plants began operation with feedstocks other than corn and sugar cane. They include Manildra (0.3 billion litres per year), the only fuel ethanol producer in New South Wales, Australia, to receive a government subsidy for producing ethanol from wheat starch. Other feedstocks being used at plants in Australia include red sorghum (United Petroleum) and molasses (at the Wilmar Bioethanol plant).128 In sub-Saharan Africa, cassava, traditionally grown for beer and flour, is growing in popularity as a biofuel feedstock. For example, Sunbird Bioenergy Africa partnered with China New Energy to establish a USD 24 million cassava-based ethanol plant in Nigeria (110 million litre per year); it is expected to be the first of 10 such plants.129

Advanced biofuels using non-food feedstocks became commercially available in 2013. In North America, U.S.-based plants owned by Gevo and KiOR finally produced and sold their first batches into the market.130 Enerkem commissioned its 38 million litre peryear biomethanol plant in Edmonton, Alberta, using MSW as the feedstock.131 By early 2014, cellulosic biofuel production facilities were under development in 20 U.S. states.132 In Europe, Novozymes and Beta Renewables opened a new commercial plant in Italy which, as of commissioning in October, was the world's largest advanced biofuels facility. The plant will produce ethanol from wheat straw, rice straw, and arundo donax (a high-yielding energy crop that is grown on marginal land).133 A commercial-scale plant also has been constructed in China.134

Advanced biofuel demonstration plant developments in 2013 included the Canadian enzyme and biofuels company logen licensing its ligno-cellulosic-to-ethanol technology (piloted for 10 years) to REP (Brazil). REP plans to make 40 million litres of ethanol per year in a new USD 100 million plant.135 Lanzatech (New Zealand) uses hydrogen-producing microbes to convert the carbon monoxide recovered from steel mill waste gases, chemical plants, and biomass gasification, into drop-in, hydrocarbon biofuels and chemicals, entering the Chinese market.136 In addition, Empryo BV, a subsidiary of BTG BV, began construction of a pyrolysis plant in the Netherlands that will produce 20 million litres of bio-oil annually; and Clarion's cellulosic demonstration plant in Straubing, Germany, ferments wheat straw into ethanol that is then blended with conventional fuel additives by Haltermann (Germany) to produce a novel drop-in fuel equivalentto E20.137

The aviation industry continued to monitor the increasing uptake of advanced biofuels, including those produced from algae. The industry's interest stems from the current high dependence on petroleum fuels, uncertainty about long-term supplies, and the lack of other suitable fuel alternatives.138 In 2013, Boeing (United States) claimed that there was enough biofuel production capacity already in place to supply around 1% of jet fuel demand (about 6 billion litres per year) at a competitive cost.139 The Sinopec group, which runs oil refineries in China, was licensed to market its own version of No. 1 Aviation Biofuel for use at the commercial level.140

1 International Energy Agency (IEA), World Energy Outlook 2013 (Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECDVIEA, 2013), p. 200 states that traditional biomass accounted for 57% of total primary energy use from biomass in 2011. The data are very uncertain and other estimates put the share of traditional biomass consumption closer to two-thirds of total primary energy use from all biomass. For example, the Intergovern mental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted that "roughly 60% share" of total biomass was deemed traditional but "in addition...there is biomass use estimated to amount to 20 to 40% not reported in official primary energy databases, such as dung, unaccounted production of charcoal, illegal logging, fuelwood gathering, and agricultural residue use"; see "Summary for Policymakers," in O. Edenhofer et al., eds., IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (Cambridge, U.K. and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011), p. 9, This would imply that total world primary energy use is higher than reported by the IEA and others. The GSR assumes here that the traditional biomass share has remained relatively unchanged overthe past 2-3 years.

2 The distinction between traditional and modern biomass can be somewhat blurred, with some biomass being combusted on domestic open fires in developed-country dwellings on the one hand and modern large- to medium-scale biogas and bioenergy plants being installed in developing countries. There is a long-term ambition to create incentives for users of traditional, non-sustainable biomass in low-efficiency cookstoves (with health impacts from the smoke emissions) to use sustainably produced biomass in more efficient appliances in orderto reduce losses; see Figure 5, GSR 2013, p. 27. Health issues arise from both traditional and modern use of biomass from particulates and black carbon that are formed during incomplete combustion of biomass and released as "smoke," leading to poor health and some 4 million premature deaths each year as well as to greenhousegas emissions. The climate benefits of reducing emissions of black carbon, a short-lived climate pollutant, are becoming better understood; see, forexample, World Bank, Integration of Short-lived Climate Pollutants in World Bank Activities: A report prepared at the request ofthe G8 (Washington, DC: June 1013),

3 Bioenergy Annex of Chapter 11, "Agriculture, Forests and Other Land Use Change," in IPCC, Working Group III, Fifth Assessment Report: Climate Change - Mitigation (Cambridge, U.K. and New York: Cambridge University Press, April 2014), https://www.ipcc. ch/report/ar5/wg3/. Also note that short-rotation energy crops grown on agricultural land specifically for energy purposes currently provide about 3-4% of the total biomass resource consumed annually, as outlined in H. Chum et al., "Bioenergy," Chapter 2 in Edenhofer et al., op. cit. note 1.

4 Sidebar 3 from the following sources: for research and policy endeavours, see, forexample: J. Fargione et al., "Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt," Science, vol. 319, no. 5867 (2008), pp. 1235-38, J. Melillo et al., "Indirect Emissions from Biofuels: How Important?" Science, vol. 326, no. 5958 (2009), pp. 1397-99, and G. Berndes et al., "Bioenergy and Land Use Change – State of the Art," Energy and Environment, vol. 2, no. 3 (2013), pp. 282-303; concern about time lag from idem; consensus around biogenic emissionsfrom Pinchot Institute for Conservation, The Transatlantic Trade in Wood for Energy A Dialogue on Sustainability Standards and Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Savannah, GA: 2013),; carbon payback analysis from S.R. Mitchell, M.E. Harmon, and K.E.B. O'Connell, "Carbon Debt and Carbon Sequestration Parity in Forest Bioenergy Production," GCB Bioenergy, vol. 4, no. 6 (2012), pp. 818-27; review of carbon payback times, including the use of residues, from P. Lamers and M. Junginger, "The 'Debt' Is in the Detail: A Synthesis of Recent Temporal Forest Carbon Analyses on Woody Biomass for Energy," Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, vol. 7, no. 4 (2013), pp. 373-85, and from A. Agostini, J. Giuntoli, and A. Boulamanti, Carbon Accounting of Forest Bioenergy (Ispra, taly: European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Energy and Transport, 2013),; carbon payback from plantation pulpwood from G-J. Jonker, M. Junginger, and A. Faaij, "Carbon Payback Period and Carbon Offset Parity Point of Wood Pellet Production in the Southeastern USA," GCB Bioenergy, early view, DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12056 (2014); commonly used time frames from B. Dehue, "Implications of a 'Carbon Debt' on Bioenergy's Potential to Mitigate Climate Change," Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining, vol. 7, no. 3 (2012), pp. 228-34, and from B. Holtsmark, "Harvesting in Boreal Forests and the Biofuel Carbon Debt," Climatic Change, vol. 112, no. 2 (2012), pp. 415-28; carbon cycling integration in LCA from T. Helin et al., "Approaches for Inclusion of Forest Carbon Cycle in Life Cycle Assessment - A Review, GCB Bioenergy, vol. 5, no. 5 (2012), pp. 475-86; in addition to aforementioned carbon studies, a modelling exercise that includes afforestation and reforestation from G. Zanchi, N. Pena, and N. Bird, "Is Woody Bioenergy Carbon Neutral? A Comparative Assessment of Emissionsfrom Consumption of Woody Bioenergyand Fossil Fuel," GCB Bioenergy, vol. 4, no. 6 (2012), pp. 761-72; U.K. draft calculator from Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC), Government Response to the Consultation on Proposals to Enhance the Sustainability Criteria for the Use of Biomass Feedstocks under the Renewables Obligation (RO) (London: 2013),

5 Fraunhofer Institute, "Biobattery – matching energy delivery with demand through storage," BE Sustainable, 14 January 2014,; R. Sims et al., "Integration of Renewable Energy into Present and Future Energy Systems," Chapter8 in Edenhoferetal., op. cit. note 1.

6 E.J. Ackom et al., "Modern bioenergy from agricultural and forestry residues in Cameroon: Potential, challenges and the way forward," Energy Policy, vol. 63 (2013), pp. 101-113. The issues of bioenergy data are discussed in International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), "Statistical issues: bioenergyand distributed renewable energy" (Abu Dhabi: 2013), issues_bioenergy_and_distributed%20renewable%20_energy.pdf. To overcome these data limitations, as of 2013 IRENA is developing an improved methodology of data collection, the World Bioenergy Association is working to improve bioenergy-related data collection, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) plans to undertake surveys of households and businesses. Montenegro is one such country undertaking household and business level surveys, from Statistical Office Montenegro, "Wood fuel consumption in 2011 in Montenegro -New energy balances forwood fuels," updated February 2013, http://www.monstat.Org/userfiles/file/publikacije/2013/22.2/DRVNA%20GORIVA-ENGLESKI-ZA%20SAJT%20I%20STAMPU-.pdf. Figure 5 based on data from IEA, op. cit. note 1, and IEA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2013 (OECD/IEA: 2013).

7 Calculation based on the following: 744 Mtoe of primary energy for traditional biomass in 2011, which accounted for 57% of total bioenergy (implying total bioenergy consumption of approximately 1,300 Mtoe), from IEA, op. cit. note 1, Table 6.1, p. 200; average annual growth rate of primary bioenergy consumption of around 2% over the period 2006-2011, according to data from IEA, World Energy Outlook, various editions (2008-2013); and a growthrate of 1.8% in 2011 based on 1,277 Mtoe consumption in 2010 and 1,300 Mtoe consumption in 2011, from idem. It is assumed that the 1.8% growth continued during 2012 and 2013, bringing the estimated supply for 2013 to 1,352 Mtoe (56.6 EJ). Note that traditional biomass demand is now fairly static as improved efficiency stoves and solar PV home systems are being deployed more widely to reduce the demand for biomass for cooking and heating. See, forexample, David Appleyard, "Burn it up – is biomass about to go bang?" Renewable Energy World, January/February 2014, pp. 41-45.

8 It was assumed that the shares of global biomass use in 2012, as presented in Figure 5, "Biomass-to energy pathways" on p. 27 of the GSR 2013, remained similar for 2013 data. Other sources include: EurObserv'ER, The State of Renewable Energies in Europe: Edition 2012 (Brussels: 2012); F.O. Licht, "Fuel Ethanol: World Production, by Country (1000 cubic metres)," 2014, and F.O. Licht, "Biodiesel: World Production, by Country (1000 t)," 2014, used with permission from F.O. Licht/Licht Interactive Data. Modern biomass is converted into a range of energy carriers (solid, liquid, and gaseous fuels as well as electricity and heat), which are then consumed by end-users to provide useful energy services. Available datasets used to compile each component of Figure 5 had uncertainties in the region of +10% or more. Biomass CHP is included where possible under both electricity and heat categories. Losses that occur during a conversion process from the various "primary" biomass feedstocks to obtain useful heat, electricity, or liquid and gaseous biofuels vary with the process used. Figure of 116 billion litres from F.O. Licht, op. cit. this note, both sources. According to the IEA, primary biomass for power generation rose ~25%from 109 Mtoe in 2010 (IEA, World Energy Outlook, 2012, Annex A: World: New Policies Scenario, p. 552) to 136 Mtoe in 2011 (IEA, op. cit. note 1, Annex A: World: New Policies Scenario, p. 572). Global electricity generation from bioenergy increased from 331 TWh in 2010 (IEA, World Energy Outlook, 2012, Table 7.2, p. 216) to 424 TWh in 2011 (IEA, op. cit. note 1), and installed capacity rose 28% to reach 93 GW (IEA, op. cit. note 1, Annex A: World: New Policies Scenario, p. 574). For 2013, bio-power data are limited, preliminary, and uncertain, but based on country reports provided to REN21 for GSR 2014, it is assumed that the very high growth rate in global bio-power generation in 2011 shown by IEA data had not continued during 2012 and 2013 and reached 405 TWh by end-2013; 12.8 EJ final energy from modern bio-heat in 2011 (per IEA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2013, op. cit. note 6, p. 215) gives around 13 EJ in 2013, assuming 2.4% annual growth. The 60% efficiency level is conservative and was broadly estimated across all biofuel conversion processes from a range of biomass feedstocks; for example, conversion of ligno-cellulose to ethanol is typically around 35% efficient (per IEA, "From 1st to 2nd generation biofuel technologies – An overview of current industry and RD&D activities" (Paris: November 2008),, whereas 1 tonne of vegetable oil will produce around 1 tonne of biodiesel through the transesterification process (per University of Strathclyde Engineering Energy Systems Research Unit, "Biofuels and Transport – What is Biodiesel," http://www.esru.strath., viewed 15 May 2014; preliminary estimates from IEA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2014 (Paris: OECD/IEA, forthcoming 2014). Conversion efficiencies vary with biomass feedstock, moisture content, plant scale, and conversion process (combustion, gasification, anaerobic digestion/combustion). Electrical energy of 30% of the primary energy contained in the biomass is assumed to be a rough estimate of conversion efficiency across all options.

9 Ibid.; EurObserv'ER, op. cit. note 8; A.J. Mathias and PK. Balasankari, "Trends in Biomass: Opportunities for Global Equipment Suppliers in Asia," Renewable Energy World, 5 August 2010,; IEA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2013, op. cit. note 6; F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 8, both sources.

10 European Biomass Association (AEBIOM), European Biomass Association Annual Report 2013 (Brussels: January 2013), Note that the European share of bioenergy was 6.5% of total end-use consumption, per IEA, op. cit. note 1.

11 Forwood chip trade data, see P. Lamersetal., Global Wood Chip Trade for Energy (Paris: IEA Bioenergy Task 40, 2012). Wood chips and other biomass products are also traded for non-energy purposes, and these volumes need to be separated. See, for example: Robert Flynn, "RISI Viewpoint: Vietnam- no shortage of wood for the Asian woodchip markets!" RISI Wood Biomass Markets, 28 March 2014, http://www.woodbiomass. com/woodbiomass/news/Asia-Pacific/wood_products/RISI-VIEWPOINT-Vietnamu2014no-shortage-of-wood-for-the-Asian-woodchip-markets.html; RISI Wood Biomass Markets, "China drives demand for raw material to produce Bleached Hardwood Kraft Pulp (BHKP)," press release (Boston: 7 May 2014),; Robert Flynn, "RISI Viewpoint: India's demand for log imports set to double over the next 10 years," RISI Wood Biomass Markets, 7 February 2013,

12 Informal trade from Patrick Lamers, Mountain View Research, personal communication with REN21, 24 March 2014.

13 Based on 300 PJ of solid biomassfuels (excluding charcoal) traded in 2010, from P. Lamers et al., "Developments in international solid biofuel trade - an analysis of volumes, policies, and market factors," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 16, no. 5 (2012), pp. 3176-99, and on 120-130 PJ of net trade in fuel ethanol and biodiesel in 2009, from P. Lamers et al., "International bioenergy trade – a review of past developments in the liquid biofuels market," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, vol. 15, no. 6 (2011), pp. 2655-76.

14 Based on 1,323 Mtoe of total primary bioenergy in 2013 (IEA, op. cit. note 1, stated that 1,300 Mtoe (54.7 EJ) of biomass was consumed globally in 2011, giving a growth rate of 1.8% from 1,277 Mtoe in 2010). The IEA World Energy Outlook (2008-2013 editions) shows that global primary biomass demand grew at an annual rate of around 2% during 2006-2011. Assuming that 1.8% annual growth rate continued, the estimated supplyfor 2013 is 1,323 Mtoe (56.6 EJ)).The 23.6 million tonnes of pellets produced in 2013 had an assumed energy content of 16 GJ/tonne. Note that pellet data are available, whereas data for the other solid biomass sources are very limited and therefore are not discussed to the same degree.

15 Calculation based on the following: 297 GWth of bioenergy heat plant capacity installed as of 2008, from Chum et al., op. cit. note 2; 270 GWth in 2009 from International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (NASA), "Global Energy Assessment – Toward a Sustainable Future," Options Magazine (2012), pp. 16-21,; annual growth of 1% is assumed in the absence of better data. Note that accurate heat data, including from bioenergy, are difficult to obtain as most capacity installations and output are not metered. Even if plant capacities are known, there is often no knowledge of whether a1 MWth plant, for example, is used for 80 hours or 8,000 hours per year.

16 Share of 90% based on 2011 estimates of 13.9 EJ of global final energy use of renewable heat, ofwhich 12.8 EJ came from modern biomass, from IEA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report, op. cit. note 6, p. 215.

17 Eurobserv' ER, Solid Biomass Barometer (Pans: December 2013), In IEA, op. cit. note 1, all forms of biomass provided 7.3% of European primary energy in 2011, compared with 7.1% in 2010.

18 Based on 102,530 GWh of heat from solid biomass, 500 GWh from liquid biomass, and 13,530 GWh from gaseous biomass in 2013, and a total of 112,667 in 2012, from Arbeitsgruppe Erneuerbare Energien-Statistik (AGEE-Stat), Erneuerbare Energien im Jahr 2013 (Berlin: Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie (BMWi), 2014, pp. 7, 15.

19 Svebio, "Bioenergyfor heating- Bioheat,", viewed 15 May 2014.

20 RISI Wood Biomass Markets, "Wood was leading fuel for Finland's district heating efforts in 2013," press release (Helsinki: 21 January 2014), html.

21 "Eurobserv' ER Barometer: +5,4% energyfrom solid biomass in Europe in 2012," op. cit. note 17. In IEA, op. cit. note 1, all forms of biomass provided 7.3% of European primary energy in 2011, compared with 7.1% in 2010.

22 B. Sanner, "Strategic research and innovation agenda for renewable heating & cooling," (Luxembourg: March 2013), p. 30,

23 Lamers, op. cit. note 12.

24 See, forexample, Canadian Biomass, "P.E.I. Continues Commitment to Biomass Heating," Canadian Biomass Magazine, 17 April 2014,; RISI Wood Biomass Markets, "National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Colorado Recognized by BTEC for its Wood-fired Heating System," 19 July 2013,

25 RISI Wood Biomass Markets, "Rentech buys New England Wood Pellet," 1 May 2014,

26 European Biogas Association (EBA), December 2013, based on contributionsfrom the national biogas associations, provided by Agata Przadka, Technical Advisor, EBA, personal communication with REN21, 7 March 2014.

27 EBA, "Six national biomethane registries are developing the foundation for cross-border biomethane trade in Europe," press release (Brussels: 25 November 2013), http://european-biogas. eu/2013/11/25/six-national-biomethane-registries-developing-foundation-cross-border-biomethane-trade-europe/; The EU supports upgrading of biogas to biomethane, per Green Gas Grids Web site,, viewed 16 May 2014.

28 See, forexample, Asia Biogas Group, "Asia Biogas Overview," updated 2013,; GE and Clarke Energy, "GE, Clarke Energy supply Jenbacherengines to Africa biogas plant," Biomass Magazine, 19 June 2013,

30 Preliminary estimates from IEA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2014, op. cit. note 8.

31 Based on preliminary data from ibid.

32 Based on a recorded 794 MW added for a total of 15.8 GW, from FERC, op. cit. note 29.

33 Total power from wood and waste from biogenic sources, across all sectors, was 59.894 TWh, from U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Monthly Energy Review (Washington, DC: April 2014), p. 95,

34 EIA, "Electric power monthly with statistics to December 2013" (Washington, DC: 2014), Tables 1.18.B, 2.5.A, 2.6.A, 2.11.A, and 2.12.A,

35 An estimated 10,807 MW was in operation at the end of 2012, and this increased to 11,423 MW during 2013; sugarcane bagasse increased its share of national generation from 6.7% to 6.85%, and black liquor from 0.98% to 1.12%, from ANEEL 2012 and 2013, data provided by Suani T. Coelho, CENBIO, personal communication with REN21, 16 April 2014.

36 Data based on the following sources: preliminary data from IEA, Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2014, op. cit. note 6; AGEE-Stat, op. cit. note 18; Luca Benedetti, Energy Studies and Statistics, Gestore dei Servizi Energetici - GSE S.p. A., Rome, personal communication with REN21, 16 May 2014; REE, op. cit. note 29; DGEG, op. cit. note 29; DECC, op. cit. note 29, p. 6; Réseau de Transport d'Électricité (RTE), Bilan Électrique 2013 (Paris: 2014), p. 21,; Government Offices of Sweden, op. cit. note 29; E-Control Austria, "Entwicklung der anerkannten 'sonstigen' Ökostromanlagen (exclusive Kleinwasskraft) von 2002-2013," updated May 2014, 2002-2013_Tabelle_Stand%20Mai%202014.pdf.

37 Ibid.

38 Ibid.

39 AGEE-Stat, op. cit. note 18, p. 14.

40 Ibid.

41 Swedish Energy Agency (SEA), "Sweden's second progress report on the development of renewable energy pursuant to Article 22 of Directive 2009/28/EC" (Stockholm: 2013); SEA, "Production and use of biogas 2012," (Eskilstuna: 2013); MSW plants generated approximately 1.66 TWh of electricity and 21.3 PJ of useful heat, landfill gas plants 11 GWh and 0.34 PJ, sewage gas plants 18 GWh and 2.11 PJ, and other biogas plants 12 GWh and 2.1 PJ. RISI Wood Biomass Markets, "Biomass provides about one-third of Sweden's power," press release (Stockholm: 22 March 2013), However, preliminary data from the IEA (Medium-Term Renewable Energy Market Report 2014, op. cit. note 8) give 14.4 TWh from bioenergy in 2013, which is around 10% of total generation.

42 Lamers, op. cit. note 12.

43 Most of the remainder camefrom Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, and Balkan Peninsula countries. The United States exported 2.828 million tonnes of pellets to Europe in 2013, and Canada exported 2.093 million tonnes (see Reference Table R3) compared with 1.956 and 1.221 million tonnes, respectively, in 2012 (see Reference Table R3, GSR 2013); data from P. Lamers, Mountain View Research, Denver, CO, personal communication with REN 21, 9 January 2014. Pellet trading routes have changed little in the past two years; see Reference Table R4 and GSR 2012, p. 34.

44 EBA, op. cit. note 26. Details of many European biogas plants inked with biomethane injection can be found at "Biogas Partners," a project developed by the German Energy Agency (DENA), per DENA, "Biomethane Injection Projects in Germany,", viewed 15 May 2014. Forexample, Schmack Biogas has builta 22,000 m3 digesterdesigned to handle silage feedstock produced from hop residues collected from 174 farms in the region after harvesting the flowers for beer making. The project is a joint venture between the energy company E.ON and the local hop producer HGV, with the biogas being scrubbed and then injected into the natural gasgrid. "Biogas 2.0- Innovative plant design," BE Sustainable, January 2014, p. 21,

45 German Biogas Association (Fachverband Biogas e.V.), "Branchenzahlen - Prognose 2013/2014" (Freising, Germany: November 2013), nsf/id/DE_Branchenzahlen/$file/13-11-11_Biogas%20 Branchenzahlen_2013-2014.pdf.

46 A. Sherrard, "Growth top priority," Bioenergy International, vol. 70, no. 1 (2014), p. 31,

47 SEA, "Sweden's second progress report...," op. cit. note 41.

48 Economic Net Energy, "Biomass Power Industry or Out of the 'Quagmire'," Bio on News, 4 December 2013, (using Google Translate).

49 RISI Wood Biomass Markets, "China Ramping up Biomass Power Production Capacity," 2 April 2014, http://www.woodbiomass. com/woodbiomass/news/Asia-Pacific/Wood-Energy/China-biomass-power.html; data from CNREC, op. cit. note 29.

50 MNRE, op. cit. note 29. See also Akshay-Urja, MNRE bi-monthly magazine, September-December 2013, nager/akshay-urja/september-december-2013/EN/index. htm.

51 Ibid., both sources.

52 This estimate does not include co-firing and is based on data from METI, in ISEP, op. cit. note 29.

53 Joost Siteur, "Rapid Deployment of Industrial Biogas in Thailand: Factors of Success" (Washington, DC: July 2012),

54 "DP Cleantech signs contract to build coconut-to-energy power plant in Thailand," Bioenergy Insight, January-February 2014, p. 6,

55 In the United States, for example, operations began at a 60 MW facility in Black River, NY, that was converted to use forest residues and waste biomass as fuel, per Eldon Doody, "Second chances," Bioenergy Insight, January-February 2014, p. 68,;

56 Kelvin Ross, "E.ON pulls plug on 150 MW biomass plant in UK," Power Engineering, 22 0ctober2013,

57 IRENA, "Biomass Co-firing: Technology Brief" (Abu Dhabi: January 2013), Biomass%20Co-firing.pdf; landfill gas accounts for about two-thirds of total power generation from bio-gases; Kolby Hoagland, "Why Cofiring Biomass with Coal Is Hotter Than Ever," Biomass Magazine, 8 November 2013,; A. Mourant, "Ready to explode," Renewable Energy Focus, January/February 2014, p. 20; RISI Wood Biomass Markets, "Vojany Power Plant in Slovakia Replaces 20% of Coal with Wood Chips," 24 May 2013,

58 "CMT's Biomass Pellets Trade & Power Taps into Growing Biomass Demand in North Asia," Biomass Pellets Trade & Power Web site, http://www.cmtevents.eom/aboutevent.aspx?ev=130929, viewed May 2014.

59 For example, in Spain, the co-firing of various blends of olive husks and grapeseed meal in a 335 MW coal-fired integrated gasification combined-cycle plant owned by Elcogas showed that the syngas composition was not affected when co-firing biomass levels below 4% of total fuel energy. Total CO2 emissions were reduced as the share of biomass fuel was increased, but, as might be expected, the power output declined noticeablywhen higherbiomass shares were fed into the gasifier due to the biomass with lower energy density than coal taking up more of the limited available space. "Gasified biomass halves IGCC carbon emissions," Bioenergy Insight, January-February 2014, p. 11,

60 Global production and Figure 6 based on data from F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 8, both sources. Ethanol data converted from cubic metres to litres; biodiesel reported in 1,000 tonnes and converted to volume using a density value for biodiesel of 1,136 litres/tonne based on U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Biodiesel Handling and Use Guide, Fourth Edition (Golden, CO: January 2009). Full trade statistics for biofuels in 2013 were not available at the time of writing, but monthly data were available from F.O. Licht. See Hannu Aatola et al., "Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) as a Renewable Diesel Fuel: Trade-off Between NOx, Particulate Emission, and Fuel Consumption of a Heavy Duty Engine," European Biofuels Technology Platform, 2008,

61 Ibid.

62 Ibid.

63 For details of Thailand's Ministry of Energy "Alternative Energy Development Plan for 2008-2022," which includes biofuels, see Ministry of Energy of Thailand, "Thailand's Renewable Energy and its Energy Future: Opportunities & Challenges" (Bangkok: 16 September 2009),

64 Based on 50.3 billion litres in the United States, 25.5 billion litres in Brazil, and a global total of 87.2 billion litres, from F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 8, both sources, and from Helena Chum, NREL, personal communication with REN21, May 2013 and March 2014.

65 Data from ibid., all sources.

66 Renewable Fuels Association (RFA), "Pocket Guide to Ethanol 2014" (Washington, DC: January 2014),

67 Based on 630 million gallons, from ibid., p. 12. Note that the United States also imported fuel ethanol (425 million gallons, or 1.6 billion litres, in 2013), mostlyfrom Brazil, from idem.

68 NACS, The Association for Convenience & Fuel Retailing, "Ethanol industry enjoying resurgence," 25 February 2014, UxSDgvl5Np9.

69 Reference Table R4 shows updated production volumes for 2012 and estimates of volumes produced in 2013 for the top 15 countries based on F.O. Licht 2014 data (see Endnote 4 in Reference Table section). The increase in Brazilian ethanol production could have been due to the continuing low sugar commodity price. Data from F.O. Licht, "Fuel Ethanol: World Production, by Country (1000 cubic metres)," 2013, and F.O. Licht, "Biodiesel: World Production, by Country (1000 T)," 2013, used with permission from F.O. Licht/Licht Interactive Data. Brazil plant data from Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply Brazil, "Relação de institutições cadastradas no departamento de cana-de-açúcar e agroenergia" (Brasilia: 20 December 2013), Destilarias%20Cadastradas/Rela%C3%A7%C3%A3o%20de%20 cadastradas%2020-12-2013.pdf.

70 Ken Joseph, "Argentine Biofuels Annual" (Washington, DC: 28 June 2013), GAIN%20Publications/Biofuels%20Annual_Buenos%20 Aires_Argentina_6-28-2013.pdf; Vogelbusch, "Argentina's largest ethanol plant begins operation," Ethanol Producer, 30 October 2013,; Data from F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 69, both sources.

71 F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 69, both sources. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Global Agricultural Information Network reported that China's 2013 biodiesel production was estimated to increase in 2013 by 5% to 966 million litres, per Ryan Scott and Jiang Junyang, "China- People's Republic of, Biofuels Annual" (Washington, DC: USDA Foreign Agriculture Service, 9 September 2013), Republic%20of _9-9-2013.pdf.

72 Based on data from F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 8, both sources.

73 Ibid.

74 Ethanol and biodiesel production and comparison with 2012 based on data from ibid. See Reference Table R4.

75 EIA, Monthly Biodiesel Production Report (Washington, DC: 30 January 2014), Table 4,; F.O. Licht, "Biodiesel: World Production, by Country (1000 t)," op. cit. note 8.

76 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "EPA Finalizes 2013 Biomass-Based Diesel Volume" (Washington, DC: September 2012).

77 Based on data from F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 8, both sources.

78 Based on data from ibid, and F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 69; duties amount to around USD 330 per tonne (EUR 240/tonne) in 2013, per "Argentina to export 39% less biodiesel due to European tariff," Global BioBusiness, March 2014, asp?l=36&cmd=view&wr=20208&articleid=184.

79 Jude Hua and Jessica Jaganathan, "Update 1-China levies consumption tax on biodiesel, kerosene imports," Reuters, 2 January 2014,

80 The consumption tax is approximately USD 0.13/litre (0.8 yuan/litre), per ibid.

81 Lamers, op. cit. note 12.

82 Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, "Sustainable biomass and bioenergy in the Netherlands: Report 2013" (Utrecht: November 2013), bioenergy%20in%20the%20Netherlands%20-%20Report%20 2013.pdf; No S-Y, "Application of hydrotreated vegetable oil from triglyceride based biomass to CI engines – a review," Fuel, vol. 15 (2014), pp. 88-96; sustainability impacts depend on the feedstock and the production process used, per European Biofuels Technology Platform, "Biodiesel in Europe," 7 April 2014, html#hvo.

83 F.O. Licht, "Biodiesel: World Production, by Country (1000 t)," op. cit. note 8. HVO is produced primarily by Neste underthe trademark "NExBTL'with production capacity in Finland (380 kilotonnes/year), Rotterdam (800 kt/yr), and Singapore (800 kt/yr) from feedstocks including animal wastes and vegetable oils, and also by Preem in Sweden using forest-based tall oil as feedstock.

84 Navigant Research, "Biofuels for transportation markets," 10 February 2014,

85 Ibid.

86 F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 8, both sources; APAC Biofuel Consultants, "Australian biofuels 2013-14; policy and growth" (Adelaide, Australia: October 2013),

87 Natural and Biogas Vehicle Association, "Sweden," 10 September 2012,; BiMe-Trucks, "Infrastructure for Liquid Methane – Fillling Stations,", viewed May 2014.

88 "Wärtsilä to produce biofuel for buses in Oslo," Renewable Energy Focus, 20 February 2014, http://www.renewableenergyfocus. com/view/37027/w-rtsil-to-produce-biofuel-for-buses-in-norway/

89 Sustainable Biomass Partnership Web site,; Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Web site,; RFA Web site,

90 See discussion in IPCC, op. cit. note 3.

91 See, forexample, Royal Dutch Airlines, "Sustainable Biofuels - Road to sustainable aviation fuels,", viewed 15 May 2014; African Biofuel and Emission Reduction (East Africa) Ltd, "Corporate Social Responsibility,", viewed 15 May 2014; and Sunbird Bioenergy, "Sustainability Goals,", viewed 15 May 2014.

92 As of early 2014, most of the bio-refinery plants produce biofuels with animal feed as a co-product, and not a wide range of multi-products. RFA, "Biorefinery Locations," updated 22 March 2014, A map showing U.S. plant locations at March 2014 is available at U.S. Department of Energy, "Integrated Biorefineries," updated 11 April 2014, html.

93 Amyris, "Amyris refinery successfully restarts industrial production in Brazil," 15 April 2014, For biorefinery plants in other countries, see EA Bioenergy Task42 Web site, See also BP, "Largest UK Bio-Refinery Is Officially Opened in Hull," press release (London: 8 July 2013),

94 Hu Honoa Bioenergy in Hawaii upgraded a 1972 bagasse-fed CHP plant to a 21.5 MW power plant fed by locally grown feedstocks (such as short-rotation eucalyptus) with a power purchase agreement in place with the Hawaii Electric Light Company; see "PPA approved for Hawaii biomass power plant," Bioenergy Insight, January-February 2014, http://issuu. com/horseshoemedialtd/docs/bioenergy_jan-feb_2014). In Wisconsin, the WE Energies, 50 MWe cogeneration plant, based on a Metso circulating fluidised bed boiler and GE steam turbine generator, began operations in Novemberafterfour years of development. Approximately 500,000 tonnes/year of bark, waste wood, and sawdust will produce steam to supply Domtar Corporation's century-old paper mill on demand; see "Wisconsin cogeneration plant now operational," Biomass Magazine, 30 December 2013, Holdings, an engineering company, acquired the Plainfield 37.5 MW power plant in Virginia in October 2013 from previous owner Enova Energy after it failed to complete construction of the USD 225 million facility. It has now been completed and, using demolition timberforfuel, a 15-year power purchase agreement has been negotiated with Connecticut Light and Power; see "Plainfield biomass plant substantially complete and operational," Bioenergy Insight, January-February 2014, In the small town of Covington, TN, (population ~ 9,000), a PHG Energy downdraft gasifierfed with sewage sludge and wood waste and inked with a GE 125 kW organic Rankine cycle generator came on line in September 2013 after only six months of construction; see "Trash to cash for Covington," Bioenergy International, vol. 70, no. 1 (2014), p. 15,

95 Mourant, op. cit. note 57, p. 20.

96 Preliminary 2012 data in GSR 2013, Figure 6, p. 28, have since been lowered to 21.0 million tonnes due to unexpected plant closures including a Norwegian plant of 450,000 tonnes capacity. Preliminary data for 2013, also used for Reference Table R3, from the following: P. Lamers et al., "Woody biomass trade for energy," in M. Junginger, C.S. Goh, and A. Faaij eds., International Bioenergy Trade: History status & outlook on securing sustainable bioenergy supply demand and markets (Berlin: Springer, 2013), pp. 41-64; AEBIOM, European Bioenergy Outlook- Statistical Report (Brussels: 2013); Hawkins Wright, "The Outlook for Wood Pellet Demand," presented at The U.S. Industrial Pellet Association's 3rd Annual Exporting Pellets Conference, Miami, FL, 28 October 2013; C.S. Goh et al., "Wood pellet market and trade: a global perspective," Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, vol. 7 (2013), pp. 24-42; P. Lamers et al., "Developments in nternational solid biofuel Trade...," op. cit. note 13.

97 Data and Figure 7 from ibid.

98 Canadian Biomass, "North American Pellet Export Growth Continues," Canadian Biomass Magazine, 23 April 2014,

99 AEBIOM, "International Biomass Torrefaction Council,", viewed May 2014; below 200,000 tonnes from M. Wild, Principal, Wild and Partners, LLC, Vienna, personal communication with REN21, spring 2014. Torrefaction is a thermal pre-treatment process in air applicable to all solid biomass to give pellets with lower volatiles and higher heat values than wood pellets. Hydrothermal carbonisation uses water as the medium to produce "bio-coal" pellets as processed by SunCoal and AVA-CO2; see "SunCoal Industries," https://www.facebook. com/SunCoallndustries, viewed May 2014, and "AVA-CO2, pioneer of hydrothermal carbonisation (HTC), is today putting the first industrial-size HTC plant in the world into operation in Karlsruhe, Germany," Business Wire, 26 October 2010,

100 Biomass Pellets Trade & Power, "CMT's Biomass Pellets Trade & Power Taps into Growing Biomass Demand in North Asia,", viewed 15 May 2014; Keeley Downey, "Looking to the future," Bioenergy Insight, January-February 2014, p. 55,

101 Ibid.

102 Ibid.

103 Proceedings of the 4th Biomass Pellets Trade and Power Conference, op. cit. note 58.

104 Biogas production rates continuallyvarywith temperature and feedstock, so measuring the plant capacity, the electricity generated, and/or the useful heat produced are the common ndicators used. However, the biogas industry can now benefit from development of a new Siemens continuous automatic monitoring technology, per Andrea Hoferichter, "Maximum Methane," Pictures of the Future, Spring 2011,

105 David Collins, "DEFRA AD Strategy Annual Report – 2012/2013," 23 July 2013,

106 These sites offer the potential to produce sufficient biogas to generate 1 TWh per year of electricity, per Philip Simpson, "More uses forfood wastes," Bioenergy Insight, January/February 2014, p. 37, See also DEFRA, "Landfill Directive,",, viewed 15 May 2014.

107 Based on information from EBA, op. cit. note 27.

108 Ibid. The Italian feed-in tariff was revised to focus support on small-scale plants that use organic residues as their main feedstock and that incorporate nitrogen recovery.

109 Ibid.; Sherrard, op. cit. note 46.

110 Based on data for 2010 or 2011 from Patrick Serfass, American Biogas Council, "State of the U.S. Biogas Industry," presentation,, and from American Biogas Council, "Operational Biogas Systems in the U.S.,", viewed 10 May 2014.

111 ANEEL, "Combustível Biomassa," br/aplicacoes/capacidadebrasil/CombustivelPorClasse. cfm?Classe=Biomassa, viewed 15 May 2014.

112 See, for example, "Biogas Plantsto Convert Residuesfrom Farmed Pigs," The Pig Site, 13 November 2013,, and "Waste not, want not," Bioenergy Insight, January-February 2014, p. 74,

113 Ibid.

114 This technology was recently employed in the 2,300 m3 digester on the University of Wisconsin campus, which is fuelled by high dry matter gardening and food wastes. The biogas produced powers a CHP unit that provides 8% of the campus power demand. M. Cocchi, "Biogas-2," BE Sustainable, January 2014, p. 21,

115 Gobigas meets the growing need for biogas; see, viewed May 2014.

116 Ibid.

117 Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance and Bloomberg New Energy Finance, Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2014 (Frankfurt: 2014).

118 IEA, Tracking Clean Energy Progress, Annual Reportto Clean Energy Ministerial (Paris: 2013).

119 RFA, Falling Walls & Rising Tides - 2014 Ethanol Industry Outlook (Washington, DC: 2014), http://ethanolrfa.Org/page/-/rfa-association-site/Resource%20Center/2014%20RFA%20Outlook%20Presentation.pdf?nocdn=1.

120 A U.S. EPA proposal underconsideration would reduce mandates on biofuel production and blending under the Renewables Fuel Standard 2 and remove incentives for the uptake of advanced biofuels, per NACS, op. cit. note 68. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) sought extension of tax incentives in March 2014, per NBB, "Advanced biofuel trade groups ask for extension of tax incentives," Biodiesel Magazine, 24 March 2014,

121 Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), "Producer prices report," php?idMn=42&tipoHistorico=7, viewed January 2014.

122 Reference Table R4 shows updated production volumes for 2012 and estimates of volumes produced in 2013 for the top 15 countries based on F.O. Licht 2014 data; see Endnote 4 in Reference Tables section. The increase in Brazilian ethanol production could have been due to the continuing low sugar commodity price. Data from F.O. Licht, op. cit. note 69, both sources. Brazil plant data from Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply, op. cit. note 69.

123 "POET to build corn ethanol plant in Brazil," Global BioBusiness, 11 February 2014, asp?l=36&cmd=view&wr=20208&articleid=150.

124 "Animal feed industry in Brazil concerned with increasing corn use for ethanol," Global BioBusiness, 3 March 2014, asp?l=36&cmd=view&wr=20208&articleid=165.

125 "Largest plant in Argentina commissioned," Bioenergy International, vol. 70, no. 1 (2014), p. 25, http://www.exakta. se/x-online/bioenergi/2014/1401/#/24Z

126 R.Wagner, "Biodiesel margins down but not out," Seeking Alpha, 14 January 2014,

127 Brazilian Association of Vegetable Oil Industries (ABIOVE), "Prego médio do biodiesel recua 12,7% em 2013, Segundo Abiove" (Sao Paolo: 4 November 2013),

128 Since all three plants are currently under-utilised, an assessment is questioning whether the cost for support under the Australian government's Ethanol Production Grants Programme remains justified. See Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics Australia, "An assessment of key costs and benefits associated with the Ethanol Production Grants program" (Canberra: February 2014),

129 K. Ugolik, "China New Energy to Build Cassava Biorefinery in Nigeria," 29 October 2013,

130 "Biofuel Companies Reach Important Milestones: Gevo (GEVO) and KiOR (KIOR Start First Commercial Plants, Solazyme (SZYM) Set to Begin Operations in First Major Plant in the Fourth Quarter," Wall Street Transcript, 22 August 2013, Advanced biofuel production capacity in North America increased from 1.8 billion litres in 2012 to around 4 billion litres in 2013, from Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), cited in Erin Voegele, "Report: 160 Commercial Advanced Biofuel Plants Under Development," Ethanol Producer Magazine, 4 September 2013,; this follows on from Neste Oil's "renewable diesel" entry into the U.S. market in 2012, from "Neste Oil Sold its First Batch of NExBTL Renewable Diesel to the US Market," Marketwired, 26 April 2012, See also Bryan Walsh, "Next-Generation Biofuels Are Inching Towards Reality, Gallon by Gallon," TIME, 11 October 2013,

131 Keeley Downey, "Making waves," Bioenergy Insight, January-February 2014, pp. 76-77,

132 RFA, op. cit. note 66.

133 Novozymes, "Commercial-Scale Cellulosic Ethanol Refinery Opens in Italy," Ethanol Producer, 9 October 2013,

134 AgroChart, "China. Biofuels Annual. Sep 2013 ,"8 November 2013,

135 "logen signs biomass contract in Brazil after a decade of waiting," Bioenergy Insight, January-February 2014, p. 8,

136 "Concorde Blue and Lanzatech sign agreement for renewable fuels," Bioenergy Insight, January-February 2014, p. 25,

137 "Empyro BV breaks ground of its biomass to liquid pyrolysis plant," BE Sustainable, 11 February 2014, Approximately 6,000 tonnes of wood chips is the feedstock, with electricity also being generated for use on site and excess steam sold. "Mercedes-Benz will run fleet tests with Clariant's Sunliquid 20 cellulosic ethanol," BE Sustainable, 30 January 2014,

138 "Chapter 8: Transport," in IPCC, op. cit. note 3.

139 "Boeing sees a great future in what is called 'green diesel'," Global BioBusiness, 19 January 2014, http://www.globalbiobusiness. com/nav.asp?l=36&cmd=view&wr=20208&articleid=126.

140 The biofuel based on palm oil and used cooking oil feedstocks presently costs around 2-3 times more to produce than jet fuel, due in part to the high cost of cooking oil collection. Chris Luo, "Aviation biofuel project could kill two birds with one stone - if Sinopec brings cost down," South China Morning Post, 13 February 2014,