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Worldwide Development Bioenergy

Worldwide Development Bioenergy

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Biomass and Bioenergy 30 (2006) 706–714
Worldwide commercial development of bioenergy with afocus on energy crop-based projects
Lynn Wright
Ã
WrightLink Consulting, 111 Crosswinds Cove Road, Ten Mile, TN 37880, USA
Received 10 December 2004; received in revised form 25 August 2005; accepted 26 August 2005Available online 19 May 2006
Abstract
Bioenergy consumption is greatest in countries with heavy subsidies or tax incentives, such as China, Brazil, and Sweden. Conversionof forest residues and agricultural residues to charcoal, district heat and home heating are the most common forms of bioenergy. Biomasselectric generation feedstocks are predominantly forest residues (including black liquor), bagasse, and other agricultural residues. Biofuelfeedstocks include sugar from sugarcane (in Brazil), starch from maize grain (in the US), and oil seeds (soy or rapeseed) for biodiesel(in the US, EU, and Brazil). Of the six large land areas of the world reviewed (China, EU, US, Brazil, Canada, Australia), total biomassenergy consumptions amounts to 17.1EJ. Short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) established in Brazil, New Zealand, and Australia overthe past 25 years equal about 50,000km
2
. SRWC plantings in China may be in the range of 70,000–100,000km
2
. SRWC and other energycrops established in the US and EU amount to less than 1000km
2
. With some exceptions (most notably in Sweden and Brazil), theSRWC have been established for purposes other than as dedicated bioenergy feedstocks, however, portions of the crops are (or areplanned to be) used for bioenergy production. New renewable energy incentives, greenhouse gas emission targets, synergism withindustrial waste management projects, and oil prices exceeding 60$Bbl
À
1
(in 2005) are major drivers for SRWC or energy crop basedbioenergy projects.
r
2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords:
Biomass energy; Biomass projects; Short-rotation crops; Energy crops; Bioenergy drivers
1. Introduction
Many countries around the world have been developingnew crops since the mid-1970s in order to increase thebiomass resource base for production of bioenergy. TheInternational Energy Agency (IEA) initiated a BioenergyAgreement in 1978 with the aim of improving cooperationand information exchange between countries that havenational programs on bioenergy research, development anddeployment. The current IEA Bioenergy Task (Task 30)dealing with energy crop development is called Short-rotation Crops for Bioenergy Systems
1
. Many differentperennial and annual crops can be included under thisheading and this paper will refer to all ‘‘crop’’ sources of lignocellulose as ‘‘energy crops
2
. Since 1978, the technicalfeasibility of producing energy crops has progressedsignificantly and several energy crop based bioenergyprojects have been started. This paper reviews the statusof all biomass consumption and specifically the contribu-tion of energy crops to biomass consumption. Brief projectstatus reports explain some of the reasons why greatercommercial utilization of energy crop technology has notoccurred after 30 years of technology development.
ARTICLE IN PRESS
www.elsevier.com/locate/biombioe0961-9534/$-see front matter
r
2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.biombioe.2005.08.008
Ã
Tel.: +18653760037.
E-mail address:
1
Short Rotation Crops are defined in the IEA Bioenergy Task 30objective statement as ‘‘woody crops such as willows, poplars, Robiniaand Eucalyptus with coppicing abilities, as well as lignocellulosic cropssuch as reed canary grass and Miscanthus’’.
2
The lignocellulosic or energy crop technologies discussed in this paperencompass short-rotation coppice (SRC), short rotation woody crop(SRWC) technology which does not necessarily involve coppicing, theherbaceous energy crop (HEC) technology which is normally applied toperennial grasses, and annual crops such as maize and soybeans when theyare used for food, energy and other bioproducts.
 
2. Approach
This evaluation of the deployment of energy crops as abiomass energy resource is restricted to selected states,countries, and regions of the world with a focus on Task 30member countries. Data collected from published sourcesinclude population statistics, total energy consumption,and biomass energy consumption. Most data is current toyear 2002, the latest data that could be consistentlyobtained for most countries. Exceptions are noted in thetext or tables. Reports and tables from the US EnergyInformation Administration’s (EIA) International webpages[1–7]were initially consulted for information onpopulation and total energy consumed but finally used forcountries other than the US only where 2002 informationfor individual countries could not be obtained (such asCanada and China). The author found that information ontotal energy consumed published by EIA was usuallysimilar to information in individual country reports. In thecase of Brazil, the information reported by Brazil’sMinistry of Mines and Energy[8,9]was substantiallydifferent from that reported by EIA.EIA international data on amount of biomass energyconsumed at the country level is generally lumped togetherwith all renewable resources, thus bioenergy informationwas derived either from individual country sources(referenced later) or from the World Energy Council’s2001 survey of energy resources[10]. For most countries,the biomass numbers represent the gross energy valuesembodied in the wide range of primary, secondary andtertiary biomass materials used to produce heat, electricity,and liquid fuels in each country. However, New Zealandstatistics only report primary energy supply (includingimports) and ‘‘consumer energy’’ which excludes energyused or lost in transformation to final energy carriers andin bringing the energy to the final consumers. NewZealand’s consumer energy numbers were used in thisreport. Information on the area of planted energy crops,and notes on the contribution of energy crops to bioenergyproduction were derived from personal communication orrecent reports.Personal communication and internet searching forrecent publications were used to obtain information onthe current status of specific energy crop based, bioenergyresearch and development projects that were initiated inthe late 1990s in the US and Europe and on new projectdevelopments including energy crops. Relevant marketconditions and project development considerations thatmay have affected the status of ongoing projects are brieflyaddressed.
3. Biomass energy status in selected regions, countries andstates
Countries that are currently members of Task 30 andthat have been pursuing R&D on energy crop developmentfor many years include: Australia, Brazil, Canada, NewZealand, Sweden, United Kingdom (UK), and the UnitedStates (US). Denmark, Croatia, Finland and The Nether-lands were also members of the previous related IEABioenergy task (Task 17). Evaluation of bioenergy statusincludes most of the previously listed countries plus China.The comparisons of biomass energy consumption aresummarized in two tables.Table 1compares regions orpolitical areas of the world that have relatively large landareas but a wide range of population levels (20–1300million).Table 2compares geo-political entities (countriesor states) that represent smaller land areas with populationlevels ranging between 4 and 60 million.China’s large population[4]will have an increasinglylarge effect on world energy demands as their economycontinues to grow. China’s total energy consumption[3]isless than many individual European countries, but its 2002consumption of 7.5 EJ of biomass feedstocks for energy(16.5% of total energy)[13], is more than double that of any other country. Based on comparison of biomass energyuse numbers reported in 2000[14]and 2003[13], Chinese biomass use is increasing. China’s biomass consumptionincludes use of about 200 million tons of firewood, 330million tons of agricultural residues (straw), and use of biogas from about 10.2 million family biogas digesters[13].As much as 47% of the firewood is obtained from non-forest sources such as brush, trees planted for leaves orseeds and trees planted along roads and fields[10]. Thearea of energy crop plantations in China is uncertain.However in year 2000, China ranked first in the worldin the speed and scale of afforestation[18]. Manuallyplanted forests exist on 467,000km
2
in 2002[19]though only a portion can be assumed to be woody cropsgrown for energy. The WEC 2001 survey[10]reported agoal of achieving 13.5 millionha of fuelwood forestsby 2010; the China Daily[19]reported a similar goal for‘‘fast growing plantations’’ for the date of 2015. Based onthe existence of 56,000km
2
of ‘‘fuelwood plantations’’reported to exist in 1996 by Ping[20], the current amountcould be between 70,000 to 100,000km
2
of woody crops asof 2002, with most being located in the southern portionsof China. Bioenergy from sugar sorghum is beinginvestigated as a potential bioenergy resource in NorthwestChina[21].Brazil, with its 30,000km
2
of Eucalyptus plantations andabout 50,000km
2
of sugar cane,[22]may have the largestarea of short-rotation crops being grown for specifically forenergy. Eucalyptus began to be established in Brazil asearly as the early 1900s but the major plantings occurredbetween 1966 and 1989 when government incentives wereavailable[23]. Eucalyptus wood is converted to charcoalfor the Pig iron and Steel industry but it also is a majorpulp resource and makes beautiful furniture. Brazil usessugar cane to make more ethanol for transportation fuelthan any other country in the world (11.5hm
3
), andelectricity is generated from the sugarcane bagasse.Recently, Brazil has also begun producing biodiesel fuelsfrom vegetable oils. Elephant grass, bamboo, and other
ARTICLE IN PRESS
L. Wright / Biomass and Bioenergy 30 (2006) 706–714
707
 
ARTICLE IN PRESS
Table 1Population and energy consumption from selected large countries or regionsCountry Population(millions)
a
Total (EJ)
b
Biomass (EJ) Biomass (%) Energy crop contribution to bioenergy
k
China 1295 45.5
c
7.5
g
16.4 Yesfuelwood from
$
70,000 to100,000km
2
woody cropEU-25 453 70.5
d
2.75
h
3.9 Yesdistrict heat
$
180km
2
willowand grassesU.S. 288 103.4
c
2.92
i
2.8 Minorresidues and black liquor from
$
500km
2
woody cropsBrazil 177 7.3
e
1.98
e
27.2
e
Yes—charcoal from
$
30,000km
2
woody crops, ethanol and electricityfrom 50,000km
2
sugarcaneCanada 31 13.1
c
1.77
 j
13.5 Nobioenergy from forest residue,energy crops been testedAustralia 20 5.2
0.20
3.8 Nobut
$
60km
2
of mallee expected tohave bioenergy market
a
All population numbers are 2002 data and are derived from US Energy Information Administration (EIA)[2, 4].
b
All total primary energy consumption is for 2002 data but derived from various sources.
c
Source
: EIA[3].
d
Source
: Eurostat energy database[11].
e
Source
: Brazil Ministry of Mines and Energy 2003 report[8]. Biomass EJ are calculated based on data expressed as percentages[8].
Source
: Donaldson, K., Australian Energy Statistics[12].
g
Source
: Shuhua 2003 Conference paper [13]. A more easily retrievable Ref.[14]gives values of 44.2EJ for total energy use and 6.69EJ for biomassconsumption for year 2000.
h
Source
: EUBIONET IIa 2003 report[15].
i
Source
: 2005 EIA Renewable Energy Trends[1].
 j
Source
: World Energy Council 2001 survey[10]data are from 1999.
k
Source
: personal communication with many biomass researchers. Land area of corn grain used for US ethanol is not included and annual oilseed cropsare not reported.Table 2Population and energy consumption from selected small countries or statesCountry Population(Millions)
a
Total (EJ)
b
Biomass (EJ)
c
Biomass (%)
c
Energy crop contribution
d
UK 59.7 9.48 0.060 0.6 Yessmall part of 25km
2
willowSweden 8.9 2.2 0.34 15.9 Yesdistrict heat 160km
2
willow andReed Canary grassNetherlands 16.1 3.6 0.083 2.3 Yestrial stage 1.2km
2
willow andgrassesDenmark 5.4 0.83 0.098 11.8 Yestrial stage; small amount opellets & briquettes from willow,miscanthus commercial for rhizomeexportNew Zealand 3.8 0.49 0.031 6.3 Yesresidues from 18,000km
2
short-rotation pinesCalifornia 35.0 8.3 0.16 1.9 Yesresidues from
$
40km
2
eucalyptusNew York 19.2 4.36 0.16 3.6 Yes tests onlyfrom
$
1.6km
2
willowFlorida 16.7 4.36 0.16 3.6 Yesthinnings from 200km
2
pine, and
$
0.2km
2
woody cropsMinnesota 5.0 1.7 0.064 3.7 Yesresidues from
$
150km
2
poplars
a
Source
: US Energy Information Administration (EIA)[2,4]. All are 2002 data.
b
Sources
: Eurostat energy database[11], New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development[16], EIA states data tables[6]. Total EJ primary energy is from year 2002 for European countries and New Zealand but from year 2001 for states in the US.
c
Sources
: EUBIONET IIb report[17], New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development[34], EIA states data tables[6]. Biomass EJ for European countries was by calculation using reported biomass % data. Biomass EJ for US states was based on the ‘‘wood/wastes’’ column in the EIA states datatables.
d
Sources
: Personal communication with many biomass researchers. Area of perennial crops (trees or grasses) and sugarcane dedicated for energy use isreported. Area of corn (maize) and oil seed crops used for multiple products is not included.
L. Wright / Biomass and Bioenergy 30 (2006) 706–714
708

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