The World Bioenergy Association (WBA) is pleased to publish the 3rd Global Bioenergy Statistics report. The report shows that bioenergy is growing at a steady pace.
In the year 2013, global biomass supply increased to 57.7 EJ accounting for 10% of the global energy supply. In terms of final energy consumption, the bioenergy use increased by 1.23 EJ – a modest increase of 0.05% over the past year. The share of bioenergy in final energy was 13.9%.
The share of renewables was steady at 18.3% and the slow pace of growth is unsettling. Renewables contribution in electricity was 22%. The highest renewable share was in direct heat at 28% while in derived heat, only 7%. In the transportation sector, renewables contributed only 2.5% in 2013.
Bioenergy is the third largest renewable electricity generating source. In other sectors of direct heat, derived heat and transport sector, bioenergy was the largest renewable energy source.
Biomass supply is classified into agriculture, forestry and waste sector. Global agriculture area decreased by 0.53% since 2000. Increasing yields is crucial for both food and fuel production. Increasing global yields for maize, rice and wheat reduced land demand by 570 million ha. If average yields of these crops in Africa was the same as the global average, the demand for land could be reduced by half.
Agriculture residues have a potential of generating 17 EJ to 128 EJ.
Forestry is the largest supplier of biomass. Forestry area globally reduced by 1.23% since 2000. EU – 28 countries increased their forestry area by 3.62%. Fuelwood and charcoal contributed 68% and 10% to the total biomass supply.
Forest residues have a potential of generating 4.6 EJ to 7.6 EJ.
Waste generated 1.3 EJ of energy in year 2013 – predominantly in Europe. However, there is significant lack of updated data on global waste generation.
- In 2013, 462 TWh of bioelectricity was generated – a 6% increase over previous year. Asia is the fastest growing region for bioelectricity generation. During 2000 – 2013, China and India increased their generation by 20 and 17 times respectively.
- In 2013, 0.9 EJ of derived heat was generated globally. 77% of all generation was in Europe. Sweden is the largest producer of derived heat from biomass.
- In 2013, 48.5 EJ of direct bioheat was generated. Almost half of it was generated in Asia.
- In 2015, 133 billion litres of biofuels were produced. 62% of all biofuel produced was in the form of bioethanol, 24% as biodiesel and the rest as advanced biofuels. 87% of all bioethanol produced was in Americas – USA and Brazil. Europe produced 43% of all biodiesel production.
Protein is an important by-product of biofuel production. In 2013, 71.1 million tonnes of protein were produced during biofuel production.
Some special bioenergy sectors were considered. In 2013, 59 billion m3 of biogas was produced – 45% coming from EU 28 countries. The pellet production increased to 26.4 million tonnes in 2014. Charcoal is an often underestimated sector. Global production in 2014 was 52 million tonnes – twice as much as pellets.
8.1 million jobs were generated in the renewable energy industry. Bioenergy employed 3.7 million.
Bioenergy is growing at a steady pace. There is rapid growth in pellets and biofuels sector. Charcoal production is highly underestimated and should be produced more sustainably in the supply chain. Sustainable forestry practices in countries like Sweden and Finland have to be replicated in other parts of the world.
There is a lot of potential of using agricultural and forestry residues for energy generation. There is still a significant lack of updated and reliable data for bioenergy. Bioenergy will continue to be a major contributor to the global energy mix and part of the solution for a future sustainable society.
Dowload the press release here.
Download the complete report here.