Study: Biorefineries won’t drive up wood costs

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In Sweden, a report from researchers at International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Luleå University of Technology (LTU), and RISE Research Institutes says growth in biorefineries will only have a small effect on wood products and feedstocks.

The report also says biorefineries can make better use of waste products, like bark, and that growing biofuel  demand in Sweden will make it necessary to use biomass more efficiently.

“Limited” price increases for forest feedstocks is likely, although biomass markets “should be able to handle the increased demand,” the report adds.

The team found that in the case of Sweden, increased targets for the production and use of biofuels will increase the cost of forest feedstocks, but the effects will be limited and there are unlikely to be any large price spikes in the medium term. The biomass markets should be able to handle the increased demand.

“We had the opportunity to use detailed data on technologies and feedstock which enabled us to produce interesting results on the possibilities of developing large scale biorefineries in Sweden. We are confident on the robustness of the results thanks to the linkage of three models that are applied at the global down to the local level,” says IIASA researcher Sylvain Leduc.