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There are many potential sources of biomass fuel in the UK. Various studies have attempted to assess the potential size of each resource
Assessing the available resource of any given type of biomass is a non-trivial exercise. It is important to distinguish between different interpretations of “availability”. Of the total theoretical quantity available there will be a number of contstraints on how much it is realistically, economically and environmentally desirable to make available to energy market. Potential limitations might include:
Below is a selection of attempts to quantify the available resource of different biomass materials
(existing forest estate)
Superseded by the National Forest Inventory
A Forestry Commission project to map and assess and list the distribution and size of woodland across Great Britain. Includes individual, downloadable reports on each county
A project by Forest Research to estimate the potential, operationally available woodfuel resource available from forests, sawmills, urban areas, roadsides, powerline routes and short rotation coppice in Britain. Although superseded by NIWT (the National Inventory of Woodland and Trees), and subsequently by the National Forest Inventory, this still contains much valuable information and assessment
The report that accompanies the website resource (PDF – 840 kB)
Appendices to the Woodfuel resource in Britain report (PDF – 854 kB)
This report describes a study carried out by Forest Research as part of the Woolhope Dome Project to estimate the extent of the wood fuel resource available in Woolhope Dome woodlands, and identify physical and environmental constraints on wood fuel production and to quantify their potential influence (PDF – 3.8 MB)
Report to the Forestry Commission Scotland assessing the available woody biomass resource from arboricultural arisings across Scotland. The purpose of the study is to secure accurate estimates of the tonnages of arboricultural arisings in Scotland, and provide information on the extent to which these resources can be used for biomass energy generation, through the recovery of arboricultural waste as logs, wood chips or pellets (PDF – 4.2 MB)
The Task Force has looked at resource availability from a wide range of sources – established forests and woodlands, agricultural sources of short rotation coppice, and material broadly classified as waste. These indicate that there is significant potential to increase the amount of material available for the bio-energy sector in Scotland (PDF -1.1 MB)
A report on the availability and demand for wood fibre in Britain. Prepared for the Confederation of Forest Industries (Confor), UK Forest Products Association(UKFPA), and the Wood Panel Industries Federation (WPIF) by John Clegg Consulting Ltd (PDF -1.9 MB)
A detailed study undertaken by ADAS and Forest Research on behalf of the national Non-Food Crops Centre (NNFCC) entitled “Addressing the land use issues for non-food crops, in response to increasing fuel and energy generation opportunities”. Includes current assessments of areas and yields of various forms of biomass (PDF 3.0 MB)
Report for DECC from AEA, with the Biomass Energy Centre, Forest Research and Oxford Econometrics. Assessing constrained and unconstrained potential availability of biomass resources in the UK and globally, together with assessment of sensitivity to price, time and other constraints (PDF – 1.0 MB)
An assessment of the evidence that biomass can make a major contribution to future global energy supply from the UKERC (Nov 2011) (PDF – 4.2 MB)
Renewable waste incineration is the main energy conversion route for the biodegradable fraction of waste. Primary energy production of renewable waste stood at 7.7 million toe in 2009, which is a 3.3% increase compared to 2008 (see Table 1 on pdf page 3). Renewable electricity output from waste incineration in all the EU countries is rising continuously (almost 15.4 TWh in 2009, which is 1.3% up on 2008 (see Table 2 on pdf page 5). The amount of heat from waste conversion sold to heating networks is also rising and reached 1.9 Mtoe in 2009, which is 4.7% up on 2008 (see Table 2 on pdf page 6). The Barometer on Renewable Municipal Waste presents energy statistics per EU Member State for the year 2008 and EurObserv’ER estimates for the year 2009 (PDF – 2.36Mb)
A report from the European Environment Agency. The purpose of this report is to assess how much biomass could technically be available for energy production without increasing pressures on the environment (PDF – 2.4 MB)
A press briefing by The European Forest Institute and the Finnish Forest Research Institute (PDF – 165kB)
The website of the International Energy Association task addressing sustainable International bioenergy trade
(SRC, Miscanthus, SRF)
Available for download from Science Direct
A report from WRAP on the waste wood resource and market in the UK
A Defra market report on the use of waste wood as fuel (PDF – 304 kB)
A report commissioned by Northwoods looking at the use of waste wood as a fuel (PDF – 219 KB)
A DTI report, available from BERR (PDF – 5.1 MB)
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