Biomass: EU imports from abroad on the rise

15 September 2015

In August 2015, the New Scientist and the Biomass Magazine reported about a projected increase in supplies of wood pellets to the EU from Brazil and Russia respectively. This is not surprising, since the European Commission already indicated in 2014 that demand for wood for energy production was expected to exceed domestic supplies before 2020, hence leading to further imports.

The Commission itself has estimated that all of the wood currently harvested in the EU would be needed to fill the demand for biomass for energy production in 2020 (FW 204). This trend is worrying. Increasingly, demand for wood for energy is having negative impacts on forests in Europe and abroad, especially in countries where control over forest management is low. Organisations in the US already report increasing pressure on forests and on agricultural lands that are being converted into wood plantations to supply the EU demand for wood for energy (FW 201).

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