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Forest energy procurement: state of the art in Finland and Sweden

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Abstract

The EU should produce 20% of their energy from renewable sources, including bioenergy, by 2020. Each member state has their own target, for example, Finland should produce 38% and Sweden 49% of their energy from renewable sources by 2020. In this context, the development of forest energy utilization and more effective and economic supply systems plays an important role in both countries. The Nordic countries are the world leaders in the utilization of forest biomass for energy production. This paper provides a short overview of the driving forces behind the current technical solutions of forest energy procurement systems in Finland and Sweden and some perspectives on possible future developments. At the moment, the by-products from forest industries (e.g., sawdust, black liquor) have a high degree of utilization in both countries. Additional raw materials for energy production include logging residues, stump and root wood, small diameter wood, and other wood not in demand by the traditional forest industries. Forest energy supply chains may be characterized based on the location of comminution into roadside comminution, terminal comminution, or comminution at a plant. The productivity of the generally highly sophisticated and costly procurement machinery is, to a large extent, dependent on the operator's skills and thus new technological solutions should be developed to improve their usability and consequently efficiency.

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