Biomass

Biomass is the most dominant source of renewable energy in Denmark. In the 1980’s and 1990’s the use of solid biomass was largely made up by straw, biodegradable waste and fuel wood, but after 2000 the use of wood pellets and wood chips have increased significantly.

The figure below illustrates the use of solid biomass in energy production in Denmark in 2015. There are several types of solid biomass used in Denmark and most of the biomass is produced domestically. The share of imports amounts to 20 pct. of the total use of solid biomass. This mainly consists of wood pellets originating from the Baltic countries (Estonia and Latvia) as well as other European countries.

Pie chart: Use of solid biomass

Use of solid biomass in Danish energy system in 2015 with share of imports,
pct. of energy content (Reference: Danish Energy Agency, Energy statistics 2015).

Future use of biomass for heat and electricity

Every year the Danish Energy Agency makes future projections on the use of solid biomass and other types of renewable energy in The Energy and Climate Outlook. The future scenarios are conservative and based on “frozen policy” assumptions.

The figure below shows the historical and expected future use of solid biomass in electricity and heat in Denmark from 2005 to 2025. The use of woody biomass is expected to increase by almost 50 pct. from 2014 to 2025 whereas the use of straw and biodegradable waste is expected to remain more or less on a constant level.  

Use of solid biomass in electricity and heat production 2005-2015, and projection to 2025
 pct. energy content (Reference:
Danish Energy Agency, Energy and Climate Outlook 2015).

Biomass sustainability

Biomass is a renewable energy source that can contribute to the mitigation of GHG emissions to the atmosphere. Discussions on the timing of GHG savings as well as other environmental risks from the use of biomass for energy have enhanced the awareness of the range of issues related to sustainability.

The Danish Energy Association and the Danish District Heating Association have developed biomass sustainability criteria in a voluntary industry agreement which covers wood pellets and wood chips used for heat and electricity. The industry agreement can be found here: Industry agreement on sustainable biomass.

 

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Lisbeth Nielsen
Chief Advisor (+45) 3395 4395