Canadian Biomass Magazine

World biomass investment to reach $104 billion by 2021

January 11, 2012
By Business Wire

Jan. 11, 2012, Boulder, CO - According to a new report from Pike Research, worldwide biomass power generation capacity will grow to at least 86 gigawatts (GW) by 2021, and a total investment of $104 billion from 2008 to 2021.

Jan. 11, 2012, Boulder, CO – Later this month, the world's largest biomass-fueled power plant
will come online in the United Kingdom, generating an estimated 750
megawatts (MW) of base load renewable power. The Tilbury,
England facility represents a significant step forward for the biomass
power generation sector, which is expected to expand rapidly in the
coming decade. Defined as the generation of electricity and
heat from biomass resources, biopower is one of the only base load
renewable energy sources with widespread availability of fuel resources.
Theoretically inexhaustible and found in abundance around the
world, biomass feedstocks currently supply an estimated 14% of global
primary energy.

Traditional biomass products like irewood,
charcoal, manure, and crop residues still provide the main source of
household energy use for some two to three billion people worldwide.
As global energy demand escalates and efforts to curb greenhouse
gas emissions intensify, an increasing number of countries are turning
to biomass resources as fuel for commercial-scale electricity production.
According to a new report from Pike
Research, 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.

Under a more aggressive growth scenario, capacity could reach 115
GW, representing $138 billion in cumulative investment as governments
incentivize renewable power sources that can alleviate concerns around
energy security, reduce carbon emissions, and stimulate economic

"Although facing significant headwinds, the biopower industry is
continuing to add capacity worldwide as governments look to develop
low-cost, base load renewable energy sources," says senior analyst
Mackinnon Lawrence. "Currently, power generation from
biomass is hamstrung by policy uncertainty and the high costs of
feedstock relative to fossil fuels, but the combination of a burgeoning
international trade in biomass pellets, implementation of emission
regulations, and increased utilization of co-firing strategies is
expected to accelerate global scale-up efforts over the next decade."


Encompassing varied organic matter like grass, leaves, wood, wood
chips, rice husks, peanut shells, sugarcane fiber, and waste, the
biomass supply chain is complex and rapidly evolving. Limited
by local biomass supply constraints, most dedicated biopower facilities
today are less than 50 MW. With larger (100 MW) facilities
coming online and commercial power producers increasingly turning to
co-firing biomass with coal as a low-cost strategy for reducing
emissions, efforts to expand the geographic footprint of supply chains
are underway. Pike Research estimates that demand for
biomass resources will reach at least 1 billion tons per year, with an
expanding trade in biomass pellets a key indicator of growth over the
next decade.

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.

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