3.2 Renewable energy solutions


Energy from renewable sources meets approximately 13% of primary energy demand in the EU, with biomass playing the greatest role (over 60%, compared to hydropower at 30%). Wood-based biomass dominates biomass resources. In order to meet the EU’s 2020 energy targets, significant amounts of (woody) biomass have to be effectively converted to green electricity, transport fuels and bioenergy carriers.

State of the Art 2012

The forest-based industry is a large producer and consumer of bioenergy in Europe. The industry has invested heavily in highly-efficient biobased energy production. More than 50% of the total energy needs in the pulp and paper industry are covered by energy produced from biobased raw materials in their own production processes. The industry is also well located within a network of installed assets that can be used to generate power, heat and fuels for the future.

Expected achievements by 2020 

The forest-based industries have increased the production of bioenergy by further enhancing the use of side-streams such as black liquor, bark, sawdust, stumps and other forest residues as well as recycled materials with no further reuse potential. The second and third generation of biofuel concepts have proven their feasibility in pilot or demonstration plants. New flagship and commercial scale units are operating. The forest-based industries have increased their knowledge in close cooperation with the agro-technology and biochemical industries, forest owners and farmer cooperatives. In addition to supplying combined heat and power (CHP) plants, fuels based on new technology are being produced for transport.

Required Research and Innovation Activities 

A. Quantify the green energy potential of present production sites including their biomass supply potential.
B. Engineer new technologies to increase energy production and reduce energy consumption.
C. Develop process concept studies of total production sites – energy and energy products available for society.
D. Demonstrate new large-scale combined heat and power (CHP) installations, higher efficiency and power-to-heat ratio in multi-fuel fired power plants.
E. Develop a production platform for various drop-in fuels for road, aviation and marine transport.
F. Adopt a cascading biomass-based added value approach, maximising value of by-products to fast-growing green energy markets (see RIA 1.3 and 2.5).