The focus of the development is on continuous streamlining. The conversion of raw material into more energy-dense forms facilitates transport, storage and use through the rest of the value chain. One example currently under development that would simplify future imports is the thermal processing of biofuels to produce a more efficient type of pellet with a higher energy value.
Competitiveness depend on the price of CO2 emissions
It is currently more expensive to produce electricity from biomass than from fossil fuels such as coal. The price difference is affected by various types of economic control instruments such as emission rights for CO2. Increased CO2 prices would therefore support the conversion of the energy system to the benefit of biomass.
A developing market
International trade in biomass for power generation is still limited. Future increases in biomass trade will most likely mean that fuel is produced far from where it is consumed. This highlights the need for a standardised global system for trade and certification. To support the development and implementation of such global certification standards Vattenfall is a member of the Sustainable Biomass Partnership.