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WASTED: Europe’s Untapped Resource

Our forest products customer UPM is a leader in alternative energy development and they participated with a coalition of technology innovators and green NGO’s in a project looking at converting waste from agriculture, forest residues and municipal garbage into biofuels.  The result is a report:  Wasted: Europe’s Untapped Resource.  You can see the full report here:


The project found that if all sustainable waste from farms, forests, households and industry were used for transport fuels, there could be sufficient fuel to displace about 37 million tonnes of oil annually by 2030. To put this in context, this technical potential would be equal to 16 per cent of road transport fuel demand in 2030.
Here are two  of the Key Findings:


  • If all the wastes and residues that are sustainably available in the European Union were converted only to biofuels, this could supply 16 per cent of road transport fuel in 2030.


  • If this resource were utilized to its full technical potential, up to €15 billion of additional revenues would flow into the rural economy annually and up to 300,000 additional jobs would be created by 2030.



However, one of the main topics is the EU policy uncertainty and political debate especially around the decarbonization of transport fuels is inhibiting innovations from reaching full potential.  UPM is proceeding with plans to open a commercial scale wood based renewable biodiesel refinery in summer 2014 but Marko Janhunen, Vice President, Stakeholder Relations, UPM Biorefining says: “A stable policy framework is extremely important to ensure further investments in advanced biofuels. We call for a strong investment signal from the EU member states and the Parliament.”

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