Smart Grid and Renewable Energy, 2012, 3, 34-42 Published Online February 2012 (
Supply and Demand of a Forest Biomass in Application to
the Region of South-East Finland
Antti Karhunen, Mika Laihanen, Tapio Ranta
LUT Energy-Bioenergy Technology, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Lappeenranta, Finland.
Email: {antti.karhunen, mika.laihanen}
Received November 3rd, 2011; revised December 1st, 2011; accepted December 9th, 2011
In Finland it is estimated that forest biomass will be the main source of bioenergy when meeting the national target:
38% renewable from total energy consumption by 2020. This target must become concrete for regional and local level
participators of a forest industry and actions should take place in large combined heat and power generation (CHP)
plants, district heating plants and independent heating systems. In energy production replacing fossil fuels with renew-
able energy is reasonable in many cases. However, there are usually doubts about the availability and security of supply
of forest biomass. The aim of this study is to introduce a systematical method for analyzing the availability and demand
of forest biomass in regional and local level. This study introduces an objective method for analyzing local possibilities
on where and how much the use of forest biomass could be increased. By replacing use of fossil fuels with renewable
and domestic energy sources carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and dependency on imported fossil fuels can be reduced.
Utilization of biomass creates also local employment on energy sector.
Keywords: Forest Biomass; Energy Production; Energy Consumption
1. Introduction
The EU target for renewable energy by 2020 is 20%.
Each member country has their own targets and for Fin-
land the share of renewable energy sources has to be
38% of total energy consumption by 2020 and 20% for
transport fuels. In 2010 Finland’s total energy consump-
tion was some 400 TWh and the share of renewable en-
ergy sources was 26% (Figure 1) [1].
Today the largest share of renewable energy in Finland
is produced by forest industry with black liquor and other
woody by-products such as bark. The share of black liq-
uor from Finland’s total energy consumption is annually
some 10% depending on production level of pulp Indus-
Figure 1. Total energy consumption of Finland in 2010, 401
TWh [1].
try [1].
Meeting the demanding share of 38% by 2020 means
that the volume of Finnish pulp industry must maintain at
the current level and the use of forest fuels should in-
crease as it has done all the 21st century (Figur e 2).
In 2010 the use of forest biomass was 13.8 TWh equal
to 6.9 million solid cubic meters (1 solid·m3 2 MWh
7.2 GJ). The national target for the use of forest biomass
in 2020 is 27 TWh (13.5 million solid·m3), which means
that the use of it has to double by 2020. It is estimated
that annual theoretical potential of forest biomass is some
30 million solid·m3 in Finland which means that national
forest biomass targets are achievable [2,3].
Figure 2. Use of forest biomass in Finland 2000-2010 [2].
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. SGRE
Supply and Demand of a Forest Biomass in Application to the Region of South-East Finland 35
Before national targets become concrete actions to-
wards more renewable community has to be done in re-
gional and local level. National policies, taxation and
prices of fuels are some of the driving forces for energy
producers and end users when evaluating the profitability
of energy production.
When increasing the national and regional share of re-
newable energy sources one of the most influential ac-
tions is investing on large scale solid fuel fired CHP
power plants. The amount of forest fuel and other solid
biomass consumed annually in large CHP power plant
could be some 0.1 - 1.0 million solid·m3 per plant. In
local level the impact of smaller district heating plants,
detached houses and other real estates is not as effective
as larger CHP-plants but all improvement on local trade
and welfare will lead regions towards national and EU
In Finland coal, oil and natural gas-combusted district
heating systems were constructed mainly in the 1960’s
and 1970’s. In the future the structure of energy supply
will go through a change and the demand of forest fuel
will increase when the major cities—e.g. Helsinki, Tam-
pere and Turku—in Finland are trying to find alternatives
for their heat and power production. Elsewhere large
scale CHP capacity already is widely converted for solid
fuels such as biomass and peat. In smaller units, e.g.
district heating plants in municipalities and detached
houses, the demand of renewable energy will also in-
crease especially because of rising prices of electricity
and oil.
All these upcoming changes concerning the use of re-
newable energy sources and especially forest biomass
will offer business opportunities e.g. for local bioenergy
participants and forest owner. Before launching new en-
trepreneurship, basic knowledge of local possibilities and
threats should be taken under consideration. Local result
can be illustrated clearly for local decision makers.
2. Approach
The aim of this study is to introduce a systematical me-
thod for analyzing the availability and demand of forest
fuel in local and regional level. By this method EU and
national renewable energy sources (RES) utilization tar-
gets can be brought to local and regional level for all
participants in the field of bioenergy.
This study focuses on a method for combining the
availability and end-use of forest biomass. Study is con-
structed in a universally applicable way to define local
potentials for increasing the use of forest biomass. Final
consumption of forest biomass will be analyzed plant—
specific and compared with the local availability. This
creates a balance which indicates the sufficiency of the
local forest biomass resources and current and potential
use of it. In this study forest biomass is divided between
logging residues, stumps and small diameter energy
wood. These materials cannot be utilized as raw material
in forest industry.
The method indicates single power plants were the use
of forest fuels could be increased and the areas were for-
est fuels could be supplied for these end users. Results of
this study concrete national targets for decision makers in
regional and local level and give an objective overview
about the possibilities and threats over the region under
The study was conducted in two main phases. First
phase was to settle the current and potential end-users of
forest biomass and to gather data about the amounts of
forest biomass these plants are using today or could use
without any investments on new combustion technology
or unloading equipment. Also the structure of regional
energy supply needs to be mapped when investigating
the potential end-users for forest biomass. Second phase
was to gather data about the local and regional availabil-
ity of forest biomass from the area under examination.
Earlier studies in Finland concerning the subject are
basically made case-specifically or in national level for
different organizations. They are usually executed by
Metsäntutkimuslaitos (Metla) [4] and Pöyry Energy [5,6].
These earlier studies have focused separately on the avai-
lability of forest biomass and for the use and potential
use of all wood fuels. This study will introduce more
local approach for the matter by combining precise local
knowledge of end-use and availability of forest biomass.
The method also introduces the supply-based availability
and the potential use of forest biomass in regional and
local level. Method is universally applicable and it gives
an excellent overview of the region under discussion.
Being aware of local forest biomass resources and poten-
tial end users will be beneficial background information
for local participants and decision makers.
Following chapters will introduce the method more
detailed on how to construct a model of local and re-
gional forest biomass resources and potentials.
2.1. Regional Use of Forest Biomass
The regional use and potential for increasing the use of
forest biomass is profitable information for both local
level energy end-users and energy suppliers. Updating
and bringing this information into local level also con-
cretes the national RES-targets for local decision makers,
investors and energy producers who usually should have
the best possibilities to improve local renewable energy
In this study the initial data concerning the use of for-
est biomass was gathered plant-specific. This point out
directly the places where demand for forest biomass cur-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. SGRE
Supply and Demand of a Forest Biomass in Application to the Region of South-East Finland
rently exist and where replacing fossil fuels with renew-
able energy sources could be technically and economi-
cally feasible.
Regional use of forest biomass was divided to three
different categories:
1) Current use of forest biomass in existing heating
and power plants;
2) Potential use of forest biomass in existing solid fuel
fired plants and;
3) Potential use of forest biomass by investing on
combustion and fuel handling technology.
First phase was to settle the current users and the an-
nual use of forest biomass in the area under discussion.
This phase can be conducted through national and re-
gional statistics and by contacting directly the forest
biomass users. The most usable information about the
current use of primary energy sources in different regions
can be gathered by the regional energy balance which
indicates the structure of whole energy supply [7].
The second phase consisted of mapping the suitable
existing plants which today are already using solid bio-
mass and other solid fuels, e.g. forest industry by-prod-
ucts, recycled wood, peat, agro biomass, etc. These
plants could basically start using forest biomass because
of existing fuel handling systems and combustion tech-
nology. However, the use of forest industry solid by-
products such as bark, cutter chips and sawdust is gener-
ally not alternative for forest biomass because by-prod-
ucts are the cheapest option for forest industry’s energy
production and they need to be disposed anyway.
The third phase was to point out the new potential tar-
gets where the use of forest biomass could be feasible by
investing on new combustion technology and on solid
biomass handling and unloading equipment. These plants
could be basic load heating and power plants running
today for example on natural gas or coal. Reserve power
and peak load capacity of communities and industry were
excluded because of high investment cost and usability.
Also industry processes where using raw solid biomass
would be impossible were excluded, e.g. need for gasifi-
cation etc.
Fourth possible category could be futures energy sce-
narios where structural and environmental changes are
taken into account more carefully.
Below are pointed out main hypotheses when evaluat-
ing the potential use of forest fuels [7,8].
· Structure of energy production and demand of energy
is at the same level.
· The current plant-specific use of forest biomass in the
region under discussion must be specified.
· Mapping the potential users for forest biomass—
current and potential.
· CHP-plants constructed in the 21st century are often
able to use up to 70% biomass (forest fuel, by-prod-
ucts etc.) and 30% e.g. peat.
· Older CHP-plants could use up to 60% biomass and
40% peat.
· Smaller solid fuel based basic load heating plants
(<10 MWfuel) could run on 100% biomass.
· Smaller fossil fuel based basic load heating plants
(<10 MWfuel) could be converted to run on 100%
biomass. Investments on solid fuel boiler and biomass
unloading equipment are needed.
In this study the focus on increasing the use of forest
biomass is in basic load district heating plants and CHP-
power plants.
Local farm-scale energy production, larger real estates
and detached houses (<0.5 MWfuel) which are using and
could use forest fuels were excluded from the study be-
cause of large number of the units. The share of small-
scale use from total consumption of forest biomass is
usually some 5% to 10% depending on the region. This
can be evaluated through statistics.
Condensation power was also excluded from the study
because the use of crude biomass is not at the time eco-
nomically feasible in condensation power plants. How-
ever, in the future, for example the use of biocoal could
become more profitable and it could replace fossil coal in
condensation power plants and industrial processes. Gas-
ified biomass could also be one option for replacing
natural gas in energy production and in lime sludge kilns.
In this study end use of forest biomass was divided
between large-scale use in cities power plants and small-
scale use in municipalities heating plants. Larger CHP
power plants have wider fuel mixture which enables
them to use logging residues and stumps gathered from
final felling. More homogenous small diameter energy
wood is more suitable for local district heating plants.
The hypotheses represented previously must always be
adapted for the local circumstances and markets. The
hypotheses represented in this study are best applicable
e.g. for Finland and Northern Europe.
2.2. Regional Availability of Forest Biomass
Regional availability indicates forest fuel potentials and
resources in municipalities and provinces and brings the
potentials more concrete to local level.
In this study the availability of forest fuels—logging
residues, stumps and small diameter energy wood—is
analyzed by using regional logging statistics (from pre-
vious years) and logging plans (for becoming years).
Because of yearly variation in loggings it is most effec-
tive to use average quantities.
Logging statistics by municipality can be provided by
Finnish Forest Research Institute and logging plans by
Finnish Forestry Centre. Logging plan is usually a bit
higher than the yearly felling and it represent the maxi-
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. SGRE
Supply and Demand of a Forest Biomass in Application to the Region of South-East Finland 37
mum potential for regional availability of energy wood.
The amount of energy wood could be calculated by fol-
lowing factors (Table 1). These factors are based on dif-
ferent studies and on local practical experiences.
Logging residues and stumps are basically gathered
from regeneration felling and small diameter energy
wood from young forest restoration and first thinning. In
this study logging residues are collected from spruce,
pine and birch, even though the share of birch from final
felling is usually relatively small. The yield of logging
residues is largest from spruce dominated regeneration
felling. The stumps will be lifted from spruce and pine.
Small diameter energy wood is usually mixture of all
species, dominated by deciduous trees.
Hypothesis for small diameter energy wood is that the
amount of pulpwood in the region should remain on its
current level and no pulpwood sized wood will be used
as an energy wood.
For evaluating the most realistic availability of energy
wood in the region, the availability will be represented
with four different levels. These levels take account e.g.
economical and technical limitations and the forest own-
ers’ willingness to supply energy wood which has a quite
large effect on the availability. Supply-based availability
is the latest innovation when evaluating the most realistic
regional availability of forest biomass. Different levels of
availability are represented below [12-14].
1) Theoretical availability: theoretical amount of all
forest fuel fractions (logging residues, stumps and small
diameter energy wood).
2) Technical availability: recovery percent in harvest-
ing for logging residues is 70%, stumps 90% and for
small diameter energy wood 90%.
3) Techno-economic and -ecological availability: 70%
of all forests to be cut qualify the economical and eco-
logical requirements for logging residues, 60% for stumps
and 90% for small diameter energy wood.
4) Supply-based availability: forest owners willingness
Table 1. Factors used for evaluating the yield [solid·m3 en-
ergy wood/solid·m3 industrial wood] and energy content
[MWh/solid·m3 energy wood] of forest biomass [5,9,10,11].
Logging residues Stumps Small diameter
energy wood
Yield 0.23 0.28 -
Energy content 2.03 2.34 1.91
Yield 0.42 0.31 -
Energy content 2.10 2.13 1.96
Yield 0.20 - -
Energy content 2.46 - 2.31
to sell energy wood is 65% for logging residues, 50% for
stumps and 80% for small diameter energy wood.
Ecological limitation and sustainability of utilization
should be taken into account in harvesting regulations
and recommendations.
When optimizing forest economy thinning has an im-
portant role in forestry. It could also be possible to have
subsidiaries from the government for these actions. This
is why availability of small diameter energy wood is
higher compared to logging residues and stumps.
3. Scientific Innovation and Relevance
This study creates a systematic and analytic method to
evaluate local potentials and resources of forest biomass.
Study introduces simple way for pointing out local pos-
sibilities and limitations on increasing the use of forest
In some cases combining energy technology to for-
estry could be quite challenging. One main points of this
study is to highlight these matters and to familiarize them
for local level participants such as local councilors, forest
owners, investors, energy producers and forest biomass
Knowing forest biomass potentials and resources are
key factors when bringing the national RES-targets to
local level. Today in many cases it is also economical to
convert fossil fuel based heating and power plants for
domestic biofuels, mainly because of rising prices of
fossil fuels. Government subsidiaries and taxation could
speed up this development.
Applying the study to local and regional level brings
out local possibilities and treats concerning the use and
availability of forest fuel. Results of this study enable
dividing the current and potential use of forest biomass
individually plant by plant and to evaluate the availabil-
ity of forest biomass in different parts of the area. This is
useful information for the decision makers and partici-
pants working in the field of bioenergy. e.g. participants
are able to map market potentials and to point out possi-
ble targets for energy entrepreneurs and others. This
could lead for new business opportunities for example in
supply and end use of forest biomass and in subcontract-
ing and service consulting.
4. Results of the Study
The results of this study represent the balance between
local availability of forest biomass and current and po-
tential use of it. Combining the use and availability gives
an overall look for possibilities and threats over the forest
fuel markets. Results represent the sufficiency of local
resources and reflect local demand trends for the future.
Results offer good basis for further analyses and they
enable e.g. evaluation of new business opportunities,
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. SGRE
Supply and Demand of a Forest Biomass in Application to the Region of South-East Finland
need for labor and machinery and revenue of forest bio-
mass sector.
Next chapters will introduce the results of this study
and benefits of them more detailed. Later results will be
presented through a case example from the region of
South-East Finland.
4.1. Current and Potential Use of Forest Biomass
in Regional and Local Level
By gathering information about current and potential use
and users of forest biomass, can be constructed a data-
base which contains specific and unified information
needed in local level. Maybe the best way to assort this
information is to use regional energy balance which con-
tains all primary energy consumption.
Current use of forest biomass represents the present
status of local operation models (supply chains, entre-
preneurship, markets). It gives also an overall look to
areal opportunities. Plant specific use of forest biomass
offers background information used in local level and it
focuses the use to different regions and areas. By this
information can be seen where and how much forest
biomass is already used and how the energy production
and supply is managed. These operation models can be
copied and used in different regions.
Potential use of forest biomass was divided between
possible use in existing solid fuel based plants and poten-
tial use by investing on solid fuel combustion and han-
dling technology. Existing heating and power plants which
are already using solid fuels (by-products, peat, agro
biomass, etc.) are usually able to start using or increase
the use of forest biomass which offers opportunities for
forest biomass suppliers to extend their trade.
Potential use of forest biomass through investments
represents the potential areal forest biomass markets with
current primary energy consumption. This is the maxi-
mum use potential of forest biomass in region when all
existing heating and power plants are taken into account.
In this study refining of forest biomass—e.g. biocoal,
biodiesel and gasification—was excluded, but in the fu-
ture it should be taken into account.
The current and potential use of forest biomass can be
divided between regions and municipalities because of
plant specific results. This is an asset when focusing ac-
tions on increasing the use of renewable energy. Actions
and development can be directly pointed to particular
plants and optimize the supply routes of forest biomass.
Local level knowledge is also vital for decision makers,
investors and other participants when considering ways
to improve local energy self-sufficiency with competitive
renewable fuels.
4.2. Availability of Forest Biomass in Regional
and Local Level
The availability of forest biomass was divided to four
different categories by noticing economical, ecological
and technical limitations. The major addition compared
to previous studies concerning the availability of forest
biomass was to include forest owners’ willingness to
offer different energy wood fractions into market. This
can be affected by regulations, forest treatment planning,
recommendations and informing forest owners.
To equalize the yearly variation in loggings availabil-
ity should be evaluated by the average from yearly data.
Useful initial data are local commercial loggings and
logging plans. Logging plan usually gives some 20 to 25
percent higher results depending on the area under dis-
cussion. This is because commercial fellings do not usu-
ally follow the logging plan and yearly variation can be
Choosing the initial data depends on the use of results.
Logging plan is more suitable for long-term evaluating
when is estimated that the availability of forest fuels will
slightly increase. Commercial fellings are more usable
when examining current availability and situation of for-
est biomass market. Volume of commercial fellings af-
fects directly to availability of logging residues and
Theoretical availability is one that set up the upper
limit for local forest biomass resources. In practice this
amount of energy wood cannot be harvested but by tak-
ing into account factors reducing the availability can be
obtained more realistic estimations about the availability.
In this study the techno-economic and -ecological avail-
ability is some 50% from theoretical availability and the
supply-based potential is only one third of it. These re-
sults represent current situation well in regions where
loggings are made in time and the demand for industrial
wood and energy wood exist.
However the current situation could change in the fu-
ture and availability of forest biomass could increase.
Following list contains the main factors affecting most
on availability of forest fuels:
· volume of industrial wood loggings,
· cost of harvesting,
· taxation and subsidies of renewable and fossil fuels,
· functionality of markets,
· prices of alternative fuels,
· forest owners willingness to sell energy wood,
· regulations and recommendations,
· certification rules for forest biomass energy use.
4.3. Balance between Use and Availability of
Biomass in South-East Finland
The most illustrative way to represent availability and
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. SGRE
Supply and Demand of a Forest Biomass in Application to the Region of South-East Finland 39
use of forest biomass is to use forest biomass balance. It
indicates sufficiency of regional and local forest fuel
resources compared to current and futures potential de-
mand of forest biomass. Results can be represented on a
map or in charts. On map, municipalities with negative
balance—higher demand than supply—can be illustrated
e.g. with red color and areas with positive balance can be
illustrated e.g. with green color. Map indicates directly
areas with highest demand of forest fuel and areas where
forest fuel can be harvested and supplied for heating and
power plant or refining.
The results of this study can be used for evaluating the
suitability of forest fuels for different users. It is impor-
tant to optimize the use by directing most suitable fuel
for most suitable end user, meaning that the quality,
moisture and size of chips must be proper and the supply
range cannot be too long. In Southern Finland economi-
cally reasonable supply radius for larger CHP-plants is
usually some 50 to 100 km. For smaller heating plants
radius is shorter, usually less than 40 km.
In the future the additional value for refining forest
biomass could become more significant. This will in-
crease the solvency of end users and redirect the forest
biomass for new kind of refining such as biodiesel pro-
duction, gasification or torrefaction. Large-scale biore-
fineries could utilize annually more than 1.0 million m3
(2 TWh) raw materials.
The results of this study can be represented by tables,
charts and maps depending on the accuracy needed and
the purpose of use. The results are illustrative for differ-
ent participants because different areas can be separated
from results and use for local needs.
4.4. Case Example, Region of South-East Finland
Case example of the study focuses on the regional use
and availability of forest biomass in South-East Finland.
South-East Finland is known as one of Europe’s largest
forest industry concentrations with the annual raw wood
consumption of 15 to 20 million solid·m3, in 2010 19.6
million m3. This is little less than 30% of Finland total
raw wood consumption, which was some 70 million sol-
id·m3 in 2010 [15]. The share of renewable energy
sources in South-East Finland is about 60% from total
primary energy consumption (traffic excluded) [7]. The
major cities of the region are Lappeenranta, Kotka and
Kouvola which all have large solid fuel based CHP-
power plants.
Following paragraphs and figures will shortly sum the
results of case-example. Figure 3 represents the devel-
opment of forest fuel consumption in South-East Finland.
These results take account the small-scale use of forest
biomass which share is some 5% of total consumption
Figure 3. Use of forest biomass in South-East Finland 2000-
2010, GWh [2].
The use of forest biomass has increased rapidly in the
21st century due to increased prices of fossil fuels. This
has been a driving force for new investments on solid
fuel combustion technology.
Figure 4 illustrates current and potential use of forest
The current use of forest biomass in South-East Fin-
land’s heat and power plants was 1.2 TWh (600,000 sol-
id·m3) in 2010 (Figure 4). This is some 10% of forest
fuel consumed in Finnish heat and power plants. 95% of
forest fuel used in South-East Finland was used by five
large CHP-plants located in Kouvola (2 plants), Lap-
peenranta, Kotka and Rautjärvi. There are also 13 smaller
district heating plants around the region using forest
biomass. It is estimated that there are also some 1000
smaller (farm-scale, larger real estates, factory sheds, etc.)
forest biomass users in South-East Finland [2].
The potential users (Figure 4, second pillar) of forest
biomass in South-East Finland are currently using gener-
ally peat or already co-firing peat and biomass. Part of
the use of peat would be transferred to solid biomass as
represented earlier (see Chapter 2.1). There were totally 4
new plants in South-East Finland which could start using
forest biomass and two plants could increase the current
use of biomass. The potential use in existing heating and
Figure 4. Current and potential use of forest biomass in
South-East Finland, GWh.
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. SGRE
Supply and Demand of a Forest Biomass in Application to the Region of South-East Finland
power plants is 1.9 TWh (1.0 million solid·m3).
The third potential (Figure 4, third pillar) represents
theoretical amount of forest biomass that could be util-
ized in South-East Finland with current energy consump-
tion structure. The amount is 2.4 TWh (1.2 million
solid·m3) and in this case investing on new combustion
technology and fuel handling equipment would be nec-
essary. In South-East Finland there are 18 possible sites
which could start using solid biomass by investing on
technology necessary. One of the plants is large enough
to produce both heat and electricity and others would be
producing heat. However, in the future situation could
change and even smaller plants (<5 MWfuel) could start
producing power with renewable energy sources if elec-
tricity price or subsidies such as feed-in tariffs make it
profitable. In 2011 the average price of forest fuel in
Finland was approximately 18.5 €/MWh (without VAT)
Regional availability of forest biomass is represented
in Figure 5. The four pillars represent different levels of
regional availability of forest biomass analyzed from
commercial fellings (see section 2.2).
The theoretical availability (1) represents the maxi-
mum amount of forest biomass (logging residues, stumps
and small-diameter energy wood) gathered from final
felling and first thinnings in South-East Finland. Second
and third potential take into account technical, economi-
cal and ecological factors. The fourth potential illustrates
the current availability of forest biomass in South-East
By combining the regional results represented in Fig-
ures 4 and 5 a regional forest biomass balance can be
created. Balance indicates sufficiency of regional forest
biomass resources and the potential areas for supplying
forest biomass. The balance is useful information for
local decision makers and energy sector participants
when evaluating potentials for increasing the use of for-
est fuel. When representing these results in local level it
will bring the subject closer and more concrete to local
level energy participants. It is also eye-catching to see
Figure 5. Regional availability of forest biomass in South-
East Finland, GWh.
current situation of forest biomass supply and demand in
the area.
Current use of forest biomass in South-East Finland
(1200 GWh) is equally in balance with the availability of
forest biomass when all limitations to forest biomass
availability are taken into account. In this study limita-
tions on availability were quite strict but realistic. In the
future the use of forest biomass will increase in regional
and local level which could create more competition on
market. The regional forest biomass balance is illustrated
in Figure 6.
In Figure 6 can be seen that cities with large CHP-
plants have negative forest biomass balance but the sur-
rounding municipalities are usually able to satisfy their
need. These plants are also multi-fuel power plants which
can utilize large diversity of fuels from wood fuels and
peat to natural gas and coal.
In the future there are possibilities for almost every
municipality to start using solid biomass in district heat-
ing. Most suitable fuel for these is small diameter energy
wood which has more uniform quality for small scale
production than e.g. logging residues. Usually the avail-
ability of small diameter energy wood is high enough in
local level to meet the need of local district heating plant.
Challenges for the development are how to improve for-
est owner’s willingness to sell energy wood and how to
operate cost-effectively in local level.
5. Conclusions
This study introduced a useful method for analyzing
areal supply and demand of forest biomass. Known forest
biomass resources, divided between logging residues,
stumps and small diameter energy wood, give the local
potential on how much and where use of forest biomass
could be increased. By these results the number of for-
estry machinery and amount of labor needed for harvest-
ing energy wood can be evaluated as well as possibilities
for new business opportunities.
Method this study introduced is suitable for local level
studies discussing on utilization of forest biomass. The
results can be used in regional and local level by the de-
cision makers, investors and other participants from the
field of bioenergy. Being aware of available of forest
biomass and detailed information about the end users
able to use solid biomass already or through investments
is practical information when developing and optimizing
the use of forest biomass (e.g. conventional energy pro-
duction vs refining such as torrefaction or gasification)
and planning the supply security of energy management.
The results can be used as an initial data for future en-
ergy strategies and scenarios, emission balances, land use
planning, business strategies and for regional energy
lanning. Being aware of availability it is also possible to p
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. SGRE
Supply and Demand of a Forest Biomass in Application to the Region of South-East Finland
Copyright © 2012 SciRes. SGRE
Figure 6. Balance between use and availability of forest biomass in South-East Finland.
analyze optimization of different fuel mixtures and to
evaluate the profitability of them.
Today forest biomass markets in Finland are basically
running around the commercial fellings of large pulp and
paper companies. Logging residues and stumps are sup-
plied to CHP-power plants by these companies through
already existing supply routes. Market around
small-diameter energy wood needs further development
and more security because the demand of energy wood is
not year-round. This is challenge for energy entrepre-
neurs and forest fuel suppliers because of limitations in
storage capacity and flexibility in revenue.
In the future the regional demand of forest fuel will
increase which will put pressure on local supply. Rising
demand will be significant if investments on large-scale
liquid biofuel production or gasification of biomass are
made. These could shake up the whole biomass market.
By replacing the use of fossil fuels with renewable and
domestic energy sources CO2-emissions and local de-
pendency on imported fossil fuels can be reduced. How-
ever structural changes in local energy management take
time and investments on energy production technologies
are long-term. In the future taxation, subsidies, emission
trading and competitive fuel prices are things that could
hasten that process. Time will tell how soon oil and other
fossil fuels will last but investments on biofuel based
energy production are needed in all over the world.
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sänhoidon Suositukset Energiapuun Korjuuseen ja Kasva-
tukseen,” Forestry Development Centre Tapio, 2010.
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Fuels,” 2011.
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