Bioenergy fuels are beneficial and innovative to the NPP region as:
- the climatic conditions of regions are suitable for forestry growth, grasses, energy crops and marine resources
- the agricultural traditions in each region provide a key opportunities for the production of bioenergy crops to energy
- new solutions to waste management issues can be established through application of bioenergy technology
- the increased use of bioenergy resources in the NPP areas will contribute to:
- renewable energy targets
- climate change mitigation policies
- waste policies
- rural development by providing new markets and employment development opportunities for farming and forestry sectors as well as community enterprise.
Carbon reductions from using bioenergy fuel in place of fossil fuels would contribute to the national emissions targets.
A critical characteristic of the many bioenergy fuels is that the market consists of ’local loops’ of demand and supply in defined geographic areas. These ‘local loops’ typically:
- have a high level of indigenous small-to-medium enterprises e.g. engineers, plumbing, forestry contractors, and thereby
- retain a high percentage of profits in the local and regional economies.
- are firmly embedded and tied to the regional economy in which the natural resource (fuel) and market is located
As part of the BioPAD project, ‘Carbon Stories’ were created for the Wood, Energy Crops and Other Biomass (Anaerobic Digestion) supply chains, and are part of the BISCUIT report.
These individual Carbon Stories, along with an integrated Carbon Story, can be found below:
As part of the BioPAD project the four partners have worked to influence the adoption of biomass energy solutions in the partner regions and beyond. The decision making process involved where companies and organisations are considering new or alternative energy solutions are necessarily complex and it is often difficult to definitively ascribe an outcome to any one piece of advice. Never the less, the projects in the report below exemplify a range of renewable energy projects that have at least been influenced to some degree by advice obtained from the project partners.
Local Economic and Social Benefits of using Bioenergy
Use of local bioenergy brings significant economic and social benefits to an area or region. For example in a wood fuel supply chain the jobs and return on investment are typically spread across the supply chain and result in additional income to:
- private forest owner – contributing to farm household income as creation of wood energy market provides new market for their forest thinnings
- forest contracts – increase in thinnings contracts from private sector
- haulage companies – transport of fuel supply from source to end user
- plumbers/engineering/electrician companies – installation of boilers and provision of fuel storage e.g. fuel silos, bunkers, handling systems etc
Energy users have the potential for energy cost savings when bioenergy is used and for increased energy price stability in the longer term. This can impact significantly on regional competitiveness in areas with high dependency on oil and limited access to the gas network. Energy prices, security of supply and quality play a central role in maintaining regional competitiveness. Correspondingly a switch to bioenergy represents a major economic opportunity for the region.
BioPAD aims to increase the level of deployment of renewable energy technologies in rural economies. This will result in a range of economic impacts including the creation and retention of employment, and the piloting of new business concepts and products. The increased renewable energy uptake will impact positively on regional competitiveness, innovation and diversification of economic activity in rural areas.
Three studies of these benefits were carried out as part of BioPAD.
The first of these reviews the social and economic benefits of bioenergy. View the report here:
The second looks at the value chains associated with bioenergy to estimate the local benefits in Finland. You can view it here:
The third used case studies to analyses local social and economic benefits in Ireland. The summary report is available here:
New Business Opportunities in Bioenergy
One of the most important outcomes of bioenergy development is the opportunity for new businesses and new business types to be created in response to the new demand and supply opportunities.
One way to see what opportunities there might be in the bioenergy sector is to see what others are doing elsewhere. It could be possible to either introduce new business, or adapt existing businesses models to new places and to new operational environments.
The BioPAD project decided to do a survey of new business opportunities. In this survey, wood energy professionals were asked if they were familiar with certain bioenergy businesses and if these businesses would be applicable in their operational environment.
The survey results are presented below. This is not a scientific report but the example of business opportunities around forest biomass for energy. All businesses discussed in the report exist in Finland, where over 20% of primary energy is produced by wood based solid and liquid fuels.
You can view the New Business Opportunities Report here: