Survey of Energy Resources 2007
From the assessments above the overall 2005-2006 biomass and bioenergy contribution would appear to be as follows:
- Thermal applications of wood energy: 18 EJ of primary energy;
- Black liquor: 2.7 EJ of primary energy;
- Charcoal: 1.4 EJ of secondary or product energy;
- Ethanol: 1.1 EJ of secondary or product energy;
- Electricity: 0.65 EJ of secondary or product energy;
- Biodiesel: 0.3 EJ of secondary or product energy.
The statistical base for these findings still has some risk of double-counting as the thermal input into ethanol processing, at least in Brazil, includes some heat only and some CHP applications of bagasse, and likewise the electricity figure will include some thermal input from bagasse and from black liquor as well as from biogas which is very difficult to estimate. Increasingly these estimates will be refined, especially in the case of the secondary or energy products output, all of which are properly commercialised and accounted for. And in a carbon-constrained world there will be an increasing effort to assess the role of the renewable carbon from the biosphere in all applications. Nevertheless, the overall near-term potential worldwide is far in excess of current consumption, as the assessment for the USA alone illustrates that there are almost 20 EJ of primary energy equivalent that would be accessible with today's technology. Similar findings are likely in the other four countries with large land areas and low population densities.
Ralph P. Overend
Editor, Biomass and Bioenergy