Biomass supply accounts for three quarters of the total renewable energy supply
World Bioenergy Association (WBA) has launched WBA Global Bioenergy Statistics 2017 report. This report is the 4th in a series of statistics reports focussing on development of bioenergy on a global level. Some key findings include:
In 2014, the supply of biomass globally has increased to 59.2 EJ – a 2.6% increase over the previous year. Overall, this accounted for 10.3% of the global energy supply. Biomass supply accounts for three quarters of the total renewable energy supply.
In the same year, the consumption of renewable energy sources increased to 66.9 EJ – accounting for 18.6% of the global energy mix. This shows a modest increase of 0.2% over the previous year. Bioenergy as the largest renewable energy source has an overall consumption of 50.5 EJ – 14% of the global energy mix.
In electricity sector, bioenergy is the 3rd largest renewable energy source with a generation of 493 TWh. Renewable electricity overall accounted for 23% of the overall electricity sector. Solar and wind are the fastest growing technologies with growth rates of 45.1% and 25.1% respectively.
Renewables share in the derived heat (heat produced in power plants) and direct heat (heat consumed directly) are 7.1% and 27.7% globally. The renewable heat sector is dominated by biomass as the leading energy source.
In transportation, the progress is lacking. Only 2.8% of the global transport sector is driven by liquid biofuels. Biofuels production is growing at a rate faster than the rate of electrification of transport.
Forestry continues to be a key part of biomass supply accounting for 87% of the total biomass supply providing woodfuel, wood industry residues, recovered wood, charcoal etc. Agriculture sector contributes 10% via use of animal byproducts, agricultural byproducts and energy crops. One of the ways to increase supply from these sectors is to use the residues. A low theoretical estimate shows a potential of at least 20.4 EJ. Finally, waste to energy conversion is increasing at an annual rate of 4% and Europe leads the way with 55% of all waste to energy plants in the region.
Official figures show that liquid biofuels production has reached 126 billion litres globally with 95.1 billion litres produced in Americas – USA and Brazil. The simultaneous production of 75.3 million tonnes of protein is an added benefit of the biofuels industry. Pellets production is increasing rapidly with a current production volume of 28 million tonnes (1.6 million tonnes increase in a year). 59% of the production is in Europe. South Korea and Japan are the largest pellet importers after EU. Biogas production reached 58.7 billion Nm3 with an average growth rate of 11.2%. Almost half of the biogas production occurs in Europe. Charcoal production retained its production volumes of 52 million tonnes.
Finally, bioenergy sector has employed 2.8 million people, not accounting for jobs in the traditional biomass sector.
Source: World Bioenergy Association (WBA)