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Pellets & Solid Fuels

EU surpassed 100 Mtoe of solid biomass for energy consumption in 2019

The EU28 consumption of solid biomass fuels for energy in 2019 was 2.2 percent higher than in 2018 and reached 102.6 Mtoe. Furthermore, growth was observed in both the heat and power sectors according to the latest figures from EurObserv'ER.

Solid biomass fuel used for primary energy consumption in the EU 28 has almost doubled since 2000 to pass 100 million toe in 2019 according to the latest figures from EurObserv’ER (graphic courtesy EurObserv’ER).

Solid biomass fuels – an umbrella term for all solid organic components to be used as fuels such as wood, timber industry by-products (e.g. woodchips, sawdust, etc.), wood pellets, black liquor from the pulp and paper industry, straw, bagasse, animal waste, or solid plant residues – used for energy consumption in the EU 28 grew 2.2 percent to pass the 100 Mtoe mark in 2019.

Solid biomass is the main renewable energy source in the EU, and according to the EurObserv’ER Solid Biomass Energy Barometer 2020, the 2019 increment can be ascribed to a significant rise in the electricity output of several countries.

Biomass electricity output across the EU 28, was put at 106 TWh in 2019, which is a 5.8 percent year-on-year increase (5.8 TWh).

However, solid biomass is primarily used for producing renewable heat – 80.4 Mtoe was used for heat in 2019, an increase of 1.2 percent for heat consumption.

The amount of solid biomass fuels heat sold to district heating networks increased by more than half a million toe to 11.5 Mtoe in 2019 in the EU28 largely due to the commissioning of new combined heat and power (CHP) plants in the Netherlands and France, and a pick-up in activity in Finland and Denmark.

A biomass-fired combined heat and power (CHP) in southeast central Sweden.

Consumption rose in all the top eight solid biomass fuel consumer countries with the biggest increases can be credited to the UK (509 ktoe), the Netherlands (354 ktoe), Poland (320 ktoe), Sweden (272 ktoe), the Czech Republic (267 ktoe), Germany (131 ktoe), and Finland (125 ktoe), often a result of increased electricity production.

The barometer also notes that EU28 wood pellet consumption in 2019 continued to increase with an additional 1.8 million tonnes of consumption – 6.8 percent year-on-year growth – to reach 27.7 million tonnes.

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