The European Union recently published its annual biofuels report for 2013 with the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s Global Agricultural Information Network. The report identifies the UK, Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and Belgium as the major users of wood pellets in the EU.
|Main Pellet Consumers (1,000 MT)
Source: AEBIOM and Member State sector organisations, e = estimate EU FAS Posts
Differences in consumption characterize the European pellet market, says the report. The market can be divided in three regions. Markets such as the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK are dominated by large - scale power plants. In Denmark and Sweden, pellets are used by power plants but also by households and by medium scale consumers using wood pellets for district heating.
In Germany, Austria, Italy and France pellets are mainly used in small - scale private residential and industrial boilers for heating. The demand for industrial pellets depends primarily on EU Member State mandates and incentives, while the residential pellet market is driven by prices of alternative fuels.
The UK, the Netherlands and Belgium are expected to be the main growth market for pellets, and also the most dependent on imports. The large scale use of wood pellets by the power plants in the UK and the Benelux countries is driven by the EU mandates for renewable energy use in 2020.
The governments of these countries opted to fulfill their obligations mainly by the use of biomass for the generation of electricity. Recently, the UK Government enforced the Industrial Emissions Directive, which is expected to boost consumption further in 2013 and 2014. The Dutch Government will decide upon the national renewable energy policy in the second half of August. According the draft proposal, old power plants build in the eighties will have to be closed and biomass use will be capped at 25 PJ per year.