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Bioenergy in the Nordic-Baltic-NW Russian Region

Status, barriers and future

image of Bioenergy in the Nordic-Baltic-NW Russian Region

The status of use of bioenergy, the current barriers for increased use and the future use of bioenergy in the Nordic-Baltic-NW Russian region is described in this report. In this region, forests are abundant and a long tradition of growing agricultural crops is evident. Therefore, there are sound possibilities for an increased future use of bioenergy, which can become an important part of a sustainable energy supply. However, bioenergy production is a juvenile industry, where political decisions are of prime importance for lifting the utilisation of bioenergy to the full impact on economy and environment. A number of the main technical bottlenecks have already been solved and biofuels are used on a relatively large commercial scale today. A full scale technical development of the bioenergy area must be market driven, but the technology is just below the threshold level where it will attract the large scale investments needed to establish a market. Holistic strategies and interdisciplinary efforts taking all part of the bioenergy chain into account is important. Political support in the form of limited subsidies or mandatory use of bioenergy will have a large positive impact on the creation of a commercial market with committed involvement from the industries.

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Background

Consumption of energy has increased more than 20% in the European Union since 1985. Also, increased use of electrical energy is apparent specifically in developing countries. If the fossil fuel combustion continues to grow, a doubling of pre-industrial CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere could occur as early as 2030. Decreasing resources of fossil oil and gas and increasing emissions of carbon dioxide concentrations to the atmosphere points to the urgency of finding alternative solutions for the energy production. Renewable energy sources, which are CO2-neutral, will be important in the future and bioenergy is one of the main sources presently considered in a sustainable energy supply.

English

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