Increased biomass harvesting for bioenergy

- effects on biodiversity, landscape amenities and cultural heritage values

image of Increased biomass harvesting for bioenergy

Bioenergy is one important form of renewable energy where Finland, Norway and Sweden have considerable potential. Greatly increased use of biomass for energy will, however, have considerable effects on environmental values like biodiversity, landscape appearance, outdoor recreation, and the cultural heritage. This review concludes that positive or marginally negative effects of biomass harvesting are likely for harvesting of logging residues, clearance of trees under power lines, along roads, and from marginal agricultural land, as well as production of energy crops on arable land. Negative effects are likely from harvesting of stumps, more intensive forest cultivation on logged areas, and harvesting of biomass from currently non-commercial forests. The environmental effects of production of biomass from reed canary grass or short rotation forestry will depend on where and how such production takes place.



Objectives and potential for bioenergy

The Nordic countries as well as the European Union have ambitious objectives for sustainable development, where further social and economic development should be well balanced with the objective of protecting and, where necessary, improving the environment. In tackling the challenges of global climate change, the need to balance the various societal and environmental interests become especially acute. Many measures to reduce the emissions of green house gases or to adapt to the consequences of climate change may conflict with other important environmental concerns, such as preserving biodiversity, landscape amenities or our cultural heritage


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