Global pellet production remains on the path of constant and stable growth, with an increase of 5 percent from 2019 to 2020. The EU27 reached 18.1 million tonnes of production in 2020, making it the world’s major pellet producer with Germany still the largest pellet producer within the bloc, whilst Czechia (Czech Republic) registered a remarkable increase of 21.5 percent in 2020, according to Bioenergy Europe's Pellets Statistical Report 2021.
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For the third time since its launch in 2007, the 2021 Statistical Report published by Bioenergy Europe (previously known as AEBIOM) is being split into different publications, each one covering a different aspect of bioenergy.
Bioenergy Europe has released Pellets Statistical Report 2021, the fifth chapter of its 2021 Statistical Report focusing on wood pellets and their key role in achieving the 2050 carbon neutrality target.
The report finds that pellet use has increased by 7 percent globally compared to 2019, reaching 19.3 million tonnes in 2020.
The EU-27 remains the largest global pellet consumer with the residential and commercial segments being once again led by Italy, which remains the world’s largest pellet user for the residential sector, with a total consumption of 3.4 million tonnes.
The positive trend for the sector confirms wood pellets’ great resilience to externalities such as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the recent energy price crisis.
Even though the supply of raw material was reduced due to a slowdown of the sawmilling activity, most market actors remained well-stocked due to the high raw material availability in areas affected by forest disturbances such as the spruce bark beetle.
Reliable and affordable
On the other hand, the recent increase in electricity and gas prices did not impact the biomass sector and wood pellets have thus far kept price levels stable – a “suitable solution to tackle high energy dependency on fossil gas imports and addressing energy prices crisis such as the one Europe is currently facing” the report notes.
Thus taking all this into account, wood pellets “should be considered a reliable and affordable solution” for all sectors in the context of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
Wood pellets can significantly contribute to the decarbonization of the heating sector, which is responsible for almost half of the EU’s energy consumption.
Bioenergy Europe Secretary-General, Jean-Marc Jossart, highlights that “adopting a dual approach of a ban on direct and indirect subsidies for fossil fuels, along with the unlocking of support through the Social Climate Fund would allow citizens to switch from fossil heating appliances to modern and efficient pellet solutions.”
According to him, this would result in a faster deployment of renewable solutions whilst “shielding vulnerable consumers from energy poverty.”
A stable policy framework is essential for giving a sufficiently long-term perspective to companies to further invest in sustainable pellet production and use, which will further help climate change mitigation efforts, concluded Jean-Marc Jossart.