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Logo of biotbiofuelBioMed CentralBiomed Central Web Sitesearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBiotechnology for Biofuels
Biotechnol Biofuels. 2012; 5: 25.
Published online 2012 April 30. doi:  10.1186/1754-6834-5-25
PMCID: PMC3458922

Biomass for energy in the European Union - a review of bioenergy resource assessments


This paper reviews recent literature on bioenergy potentials in conjunction with available biomass conversion technologies. The geographical scope is the European Union, which has set a course for long term development of its energy supply from the current dependence on fossil resources to a dominance of renewable resources. A cornerstone in European energy policies and strategies is biomass and bioenergy. The annual demand for biomass for energy is estimated to increase from the current level of 5.7 EJ to 10.0 EJ in 2020. Assessments of bioenergy potentials vary substantially due to methodological inconsistency and assumptions applied by individual authors. Forest biomass, agricultural residues and energy crops constitute the three major sources of biomass for energy, with the latter probably developing into the most important source over the 21st century. Land use and the changes thereof is a key issue in sustainable bioenergy production as land availability is an ultimately limiting factor.

Keywords: Bioenergy, Biomass resource potential, Land use

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