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Large-scale forest-based biofuels production: Impacts on the Nordic energy sector

Mustapha, Walid Fayez, Kirkerud, Jon Gustav, Bolkesjø, Torjus Folsland, Trømborg, Erik
Energy conversion and management 2019 v.187 pp. 93-102
biofuels, biomass, energy policy, forest industries, forestry, forests, fuel production, heat, liquids, markets, models, power generation, prices, transportation, Scandinavia
The need for fossil-free fuels in transportation will likely cause increased demand for liquid biofuels, which will affect biomass prices and hence alter fuel usage for heat and power generation. Despite obvious connections, the interactions between the forest, bioenergy and energy sectors are only analyzed to a limited extent in previous research. This study analyzes how increased forest-based biofuel production influences fuel use in the Nordic district heating sector, as well as power prices and investments in renewable power production. The novel contribution of the study is the linking of a detailed energy system model and a forest sector model covering forestry and forest industries in the Nordic countries. For the Nordic region, the use of biomass for power and heat is reduced by more than 50% when the biofuel production is assumed to increase from 0 to a 40% share of the transportation fuel market. The results contribute to the understanding of how large-scale biofuel deployment may affect heat and power markets and, in turn, the development of renewable energy systems. Policies targeting the enhancement of specific uses of biomass should take these market effects in the bioenergy and energy markets into account.