Canadian Biomass Magazine

Key barrier to biopower is feedstock access

June 15, 2012
By Business Wire

June 15, 2012, Boulder, CO - A recent report from Pike Research finds that the cost and logistics associated with sourcing, aggregating, and transporting biopower resources will likely continue to inhibit growth in the industry.

June 15, 2012, Boulder, CO – As a renewable and ubiquitous resource distributed throughout the
world, biopower — the generation of electricity and heat from biomass
resources, whether derived from forest resources or waste streams —
offers considerable benefits over traditional fossil fuels and, in some
cases, emerging clean energy technologies. When combusted
in place of traditional fossil fuels or "co-fired" with coal, for
example, biomass can, in most cases, mitigate GHG emissions while
delivering a base load generation source with high capacity ratings.
Despite these advantages, however, a recent report from Pike
Research finds that the cost and logistics associated
with sourcing, aggregating, and transporting these resources are likely
to continue to inhibit growth in the biopower industry.

"Biopower market growth is tied to the ability of facilities to
access a continuous and consistent supply of feedstock," says senior
analyst Mackinnon Lawrence. "While most estimates conclude
that sufficient biomass resources are available to support robust
biopower growth over the next decade — especially with the potential for
dedicated energy crops to expand the feedstock supply — a number of
obstacles still remain."

Uncertainties around feedstock supply and government support are
leading to adjustments in the size of planned biopower installations and
a corresponding increase in projects co-firing biomass and coal. In
Europe, major biopower producers Drax and E.On are scaling back plans to
build large, dedicated biopower plants with capacities of up to 300
megawatts (MW). Similarly, pending regulatory changes in
the United States, coupled with abundant new supplies of natural gas,
pose significant potential headwinds for the industry.

At the same time, adds Lawrence, the increased use of combined
heat and power (CHP) generation systems are making smaller projects, of
under 100 MW, viable and enabling power producers to increase the
efficiencies of their systems. Pike Research forecasts that
worldwide biomass power generation capacity will grow to at least 86
gigawatts (GW) by 2021, from 58 GW in 2011. That represents a total
investment of $104 billion from 2008 to 2021.


Pike Research's report, "Biopower
Markets and Technologies", analyzes the global market
opportunity for electricity production from dedicated, co-fired, and CHP
biopower sources. The study includes a comprehensive
examination of market drivers, existing and emerging technologies,
feedstock opportunities, the public policy and regulatory landscape, and
key industry players. Market forecasts for installed power
generation capacity, cumulative investments, and pellet production and
consumption are segmented by geography and key countries through 2021.
An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download
on the firm's website.

About Pike Research

Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that
provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The
company's research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis,
end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of
technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy,
Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings
sectors. For more information, visit
or call +1-303-997-7609.

Print this page


Stories continue below