Renewable Pellets can replace much of Europe’s fossil gas.

Statement adopted by participants at the Nordic pellets Conference in Gothenburg 1 – 2 February 2023.

From top left: Johanna Lindén, Petrobio, Kjell Andersson, Svebio, Bharadwaj Kummamuru, WBA, and Manfred Lagleder, STELA Laxhuber. From bottom left: Gustav Melin, Svebio, Andreas Schultz, Amandus Kahl, Marius Hachenberg, Enviva, Manolis Karampinis, Bioenergy Europe, and Magnus Kylberg, Swedish Pellets Association. Photo: Alan Sherrard, Bioenergy International

Pellets is a sustainable renewable energy source which should be considered a major tool to reduce EU dependance on Russian gas. We are critical that pellets and other biomass fuels have not been fully recognized in EU strategies, like REPowerEU.

The total global production and use of pellets is now around 225 TWh, with a strong yearly growth. The use in EU is compliant with recently adopted and implemented sustainability criteria, guaranteeing high environmental standards. Most pellets are also ENPlus certified.  The potential for increased production is large both in Europe and other parts of the world. The feedstock is primarily residues from forestry, forest industry and agriculture. Modern pellet combustion has very low emissions of particles, close to zero. This is true both for small and large installations.

Pellets can play a major role in reaching ambitious climate and energy targets in the EU. In fact, much of the current use of fossil gas can be converted to pellets, both in residential heating and in industry. With a stronger focus and climate ambition, an increase in the use of pellets can be achieved short-term in just a few years. The industry is ready for a major upscaling. Increased pellet use will reduce the dependance on imported Russian gas and oil. As most bioenergy, currently 95 percent of bioenergy used, is produced domestically in the EU, this will lead to improved self-reliance and create jobs and economic development, not least in rural regions.

We propose the following:

  • Use modern pellet boilers and stoves for reliable renewable residential heating substituting heating based on fossil gas, heating oil, and coal.
  • Use pellets for peak load heating in district heating, and for small heat plants supplying heat grids in villages, towns and energy communities.
  • Replace current fossil energy use in industry with modern pellet steam and heat oil production systems. Installations have been demonstrated for food industry as well as for laundries, asphalt preparation, for greenhouses, and many other applications.
  • Encourage large-scale heat and power plants and energy intensive industry to substitute coal, oil and fossil gas, with pellet or wood chip bioenergy and combine biomass use with BECCS to create negative emissions.

With such actions, the whole European Union will get more secure and cheaper renewable energy, and thousands of new jobs can be created in our industry, and in rural areas where we source and produce sustainable biomass fuels.

For further comments contact Gustav Melin, tel +4670-5244400.

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