U.S. Biomass Opportunities for Value-added Biomass Exports based on the European Union Renewable Energy Share Targets

Ulises Lacoa, Guillermo J. Velarde, Daniel E. Saloni

Abstract


World energy demand is expected to continue increasing in the coming years. This situation has created a worldwide pressure for the development of alternative fuel and energy sources, pursuing a more environmentally friendly usage of biofuels. The EU has the target of generating 20% of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. Member States have different individual targets to meet this overall target. Meanwhile in the United States, there are about 750 million acres [300 million hectares] of forestland, with slightly more than two-thirds classified as timberland or land capable of producing 20 cubic feet per acre [1.4 m3 per hectare] annually of roundwood. Given these circumstances, this research aimed to understand the U.S. opportunities to export woody biomass based on the targets that the European Union has imposed to its Member States. The data collected allowed several scenario developments by identifying the possible EU’s biomass deficits and U.S.’s capacity to supply the gaps. Considering the physical availability, the U.S. would be able to satisfy between 42 and 48% depending on the energy efficiency scenario. Nevertheless, when considering reasonable biomass prices, only a small portion of the EU demand could be covered by the U.S.

Keywords


Woody Biomass; U.S. Biomass Availability; EU Biomass roadmaps; U.S. export opportunities

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Welcome to BioResources! This online, peer-reviewed journal is devoted to the science and engineering of biomaterials and chemicals from lignocellulosic sources for new end uses and new capabilities. The editors of BioResources would be very happy to assist you during the process of submitting or reviewing articles. Please note that logging in is required in order to submit or review articles. Martin A. Hubbe, (919) 513-3022, hubbe@ncsu.edu; Lucian A. Lucia, (919) 515-7707, lucian.lucia@gmail.com URLs: bioresourcesjournal.com; http://ncsu.edu/bioresources ISSN: 1930-2126