Home News An overview of the sustainability of biomass fuels is ready.

An overview of the sustainability of biomass fuels is ready.

by Linda Bertelsen

The Danish Energy Agency has published the first report on the sustainability of biomass fuel in Denmark. According to Dansk Fjernvarme, the members are well on their way to complying.

Ninety-three district heating companies have now reported sustainability for their consumption of biomass fuels for the second half of 2021 to the Danish Energy Agency. It has just been published, showing that the Danish district heating companies comply with the Danish legislation for sustainable biomass.

It is the first time an inventory has been made with a legal requirement for companies to report the sustainability of their biomass fuel. Previously, around 20 companies were covered by the voluntary industry agreement; now, it is 93, according to the statement from the Danish Energy Agency.

– It has been painless for the companies to go from a voluntary to a statutory scheme, states specialist consultant Maria Dahl Hedegaard from Dansk Fjernvarme, who believes that the members have succeeded well in living up to the strict requirements for sustainability.

– This is fuel for which there are no other possible uses here and now. She further states they are residual products having no use for anything else.

Companies meet strict requirements.

Maria Dahl Hedegaard points out that the statement from the Danish Energy Agency “only” covers approx. 36% of all solid biomass used in Denmark in 2020, but at the same time, she believes that the calculation creates even greater transparency in the area.

Specifically, the report thus shows that the Danish district heating companies using biomass for electricity and heat production manage to live up to the strictest sustainability requirements in the world.

The report tells, among other things, that the distribution of fuel types from the second half of 2021 shows that wood chips account for 12,290 TJ from the heat producers, while wood pellets account for 4,383 TJ out of the total heat production of 18,645 TJ.

The calculation also shows that stem wood from forests, with a share of 49%, constitutes the largest share of biomass from forests. Residual products from forestry account for a share of 32% – the last 19% comes from energy wood.

– The statement clarifies that for all three types of biomass, it is typically wood of a quality that is currently out of demand at sawmills and other wood industries. In other words, it applies, for example, to the trunk tree that was felled to be used in the timber industry, but the wood could not be used for that for various reasons. It could be because the wood has been exposed to beetle attacks, moisture damage, fungal attack, or something else entirely. It is, therefore, instead used as biomass in electricity and heat production, says Maria Dahl Hedegaard.

The emission savings are more significant than expected.

Of course, the report also includes an overview of from where the biomass fuel comes. Unsurprisingly, the Baltic countries accounted for part of the deliveries with 41% – Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. 18% of the biomass fuel came from Denmark in the second half of 2021.

And then the Danish Energy Agency calculation shows that the plants are far above the requirements for average emission savings for CO2. The requirements are respectively 75% for wood biomass and 70% for agricultural biomass, while the average greenhouse gas emission savings per plant in the period was 90.6%.

– This is, of course, something that the district heating companies can and should be proud of because it makes a significant contribution to the requirements for CO2 reduction, says Maria Dahl Hedegaard.

You can download the Danish Energy Agency report here (in Danish)

Translated from the Danish District Heating Association