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    Spanish company Ferry Group is to invest €42/US$55.2 million in a project for the production of biomass fuel pellets in Bulgaria. The 3-year project consists of establishing plantations of paulownia trees near the city of Tran. Paulownia is a fast-growing tree used for the commercial production of fuel pellets. Dnevnik - Feb. 20, 2007.

    Hungary's BHD Hõerõmû Zrt. is to build a 35 billion Forint (€138/US$182 million) commercial biomass-fired power plant with a maximum output of 49.9 MW in Szerencs (northeast Hungary). Portfolio.hu - Feb. 20, 2007.

    Tonight at 9pm, BBC Two will be showing a program on geo-engineering techniques to 'save' the planet from global warming. Five of the world's top scientists propose five radical scientific inventions which could stop climate change dead in its tracks. The ideas include: a giant sunshade in space to filter out the sun's rays and help cool us down; forests of artificial trees that would breath in carbon dioxide and stop the green house effect and a fleet futuristic yachts that will shoot salt water into the clouds thickening them and cooling the planet. BBC News - Feb. 19, 2007.

    Archer Daniels Midland, the largest U.S. ethanol producer, is planning to open a biodiesel plant in Indonesia with Wilmar International Ltd. this year and a wholly owned biodiesel plant in Brazil before July, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. The Brazil plant is expected to be the nation's largest, the paper said. Worldwide, the company projects a fourfold rise in biodiesel production over the next five years. ADM was not immediately available to comment. Reuters - Feb. 16, 2007.

    Finnish engineering firm Pöyry Oyj has been awarded contracts by San Carlos Bioenergy Inc. to provide services for the first bioethanol plant in the Philippines. The aggregate contract value is EUR 10 million. The plant is to be build in the Province of San Carlos on the north-eastern tip of Negros Island. The plant is expected to deliver 120,000 liters/day of bioethanol and 4 MW of excess power to the grid. Kauppalehti Online - Feb. 15, 2007.

    In order to reduce fuel costs, a Mukono-based flower farm which exports to Europe, is building its own biodiesel plant, based on using Jatropha curcas seeds. It estimates the fuel will cut production costs by up to 20%. New Vision (Kampala, Uganda) - Feb. 12, 2007.

    The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has decided to use 10% biodiesel in its fleet of public buses. The world's largest city is served by the Toei Bus System, which is used by some 570,000 people daily. Digital World Tokyo - Feb. 12, 2007.

    Fearing lack of electricity supply in South Africa and a price tag on CO2, WSP Group SA is investing in a biomass power plant that will replace coal in the Letaba Citrus juicing plant which is located in Tzaneen. Mining Weekly - Feb. 8, 2007.

    In what it calls an important addition to its global R&D capabilities, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) is to build a new bioenergy research center in Hamburg, Germany. World Grain - Feb. 5, 2007.

    EthaBlog's Henrique Oliveira interviews leading Brazilian biofuels consultant Marcelo Coelho who offers insights into the (foreign) investment dynamics in the sector, the history of Brazilian ethanol and the relationship between oil price trends and biofuels. EthaBlog - Feb. 2, 2007.

    The government of Taiwan has announced its renewable energy target: 12% of all energy should come from renewables by 2020. The plan is expected to revitalise Taiwan's agricultural sector and to boost its nascent biomass industry. China Post - Feb. 2, 2007.

    Production at Cantarell, the world's second biggest oil field, declined by 500,000 barrels or 25% last year. This virtual collapse is unfolding much faster than projections from Mexico's state-run oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos. Wall Street Journal - Jan. 30, 2007.

    Dubai-based and AIM listed Teejori Ltd. has entered into an agreement to invest €6 million to acquire a 16.7% interest in Bekon, which developed two proprietary technologies enabling dry-fermentation of biomass. Both technologies allow it to design, establish and operate biogas plants in a highly efficient way. Dry-Fermentation offers significant advantages to the existing widely used wet fermentation process of converting biomass to biogas. Ame Info - Jan. 22, 2007.

    Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited is to build a biofuel production plant in the tribal belt of Banswara, Rajasthan, India. The petroleum company has acquired 20,000 hectares of low value land in the district, which it plans to commit to growing jatropha and other biofuel crops. The company's chairman said HPCL was also looking for similar wasteland in the state of Chhattisgarh. Zee News - Jan. 15, 2007.

    The Zimbabwean national police begins planting jatropha for a pilot project that must result in a daily production of 1000 liters of biodiesel. The Herald (Harare), Via AllAfrica - Jan. 12, 2007.

    In order to meet its Kyoto obligations and to cut dependence on oil, Japan has started importing biofuels from Brazil and elsewhere. And even though the country has limited local bioenergy potential, its Agriculture Ministry will begin a search for natural resources, including farm products and their residues, that can be used to make biofuels in Japan. To this end, studies will be conducted at 900 locations nationwide over a three-year period. The Japan Times - Jan. 12, 2007.

    Chrysler's chief economist Van Jolissaint has launched an arrogant attack on "quasi-hysterical Europeans" and their attitudes to global warming, calling the Stern Review 'dubious'. The remarks illustrate the yawning gap between opinions on climate change among Europeans and Americans, but they also strengthen the view that announcements by US car makers and legislators about the development of green vehicles are nothing more than window dressing. Today, the EU announced its comprehensive energy policy for the 21st century, with climate change at the center of it. BBC News - Jan. 10, 2007.

    The new Canadian government is investing $840,000 into BioMatera Inc. a biotech company that develops industrial biopolymers (such as PHA) that have wide-scale applications in the plastics, farmaceutical and cosmetics industries. Plant-based biopolymers such as PHA are biodegradable and renewable. Government of Canada - Jan. 9, 2007.

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Monday, February 12, 2007

The Netherlands aims to become a 'bioport' for global biomass trading - report

The notion of using biomass as fuel and feedstock in a biobased economy is fast gaining in popularity, not least due to rocketing energy prices. The Netherlands needs to catch up with the leaders in this emerging green economy without delay, and should choose to become Europe's leading 'bioport'. This is the recommendation of a consortium of Dutch research organisations and energy firms.

Other countries are vying for the same title. Previously we reported on how Belgium is investing in a 'Silicon Valley' for the bioeconomy, called the Ghent Bioenergy Valley (earlier post), and how its port of Antwerp is rapidly becoming a 'bio-terminal' that imports and exports biomass and finished biofuels to and from the entire world (earlier post). These developments make it apparent that the future of biomass trade will be global: the developing world will become the main producer because of its competitive advantages, whereas bioports in the North will transform and distribute the biomass into finished bioproducts (an overview of some aspects of this future).

The Dutch InnovationNetwork has now published an interesting report showing what the concept of such a 'bioport' entails. In the study entitled "Bioport: Nederland als mainport voor biomassa" [*Dutch/*.pdf], the network shows that with its strong chemical, agricultural and logistical cluster, the Netherlands is well placed to fulfil a prominent role in a global biobased economy. The Netherlands would have to ship substantial volumes - up to 100 million tons - of biomass from abroad, which would result in new economic activity in logistics, processing and research and development. The challenge will be to develop the Netherlands into a major hub for biofuels and bioenergy, with synergies between the food, chemical and power sectors.

In order to achieve this, Mainport Rotterdam must be successfully transformed from an oil and chemical port to a port for the landing and processing of biofuel and biopower. Specific niches could be served by other harbours. This development will have a major impact on agricultural production and supply chains within and outside the Netherlands.

The study set out three primary tracks towards actual realization of the Bioport:
  • A science port would profitably link knowledge, high-quality products and the development of specialized basic materials.
  • A cascade port would achieve closed cycles as regards food, feed, chemicals and energy, and would generate added value in the exchange of products between chains rather than within chains.
  • A logistics port would involve the development of a large-scale international Bioport in the port of Rotterdam (bio-Botlek district), which would play a key role both in energy distribution in north-western Europe and in the global trend of using biomass as an energy source.
The Bioport concept is well-suited to a project approach, or rather a project developer approach. A "Bioport Investment Fund" will provide active support to project developers so that they will be able to start activities. Key strategies supported by the Fund include new networks, clustering and the establishment of complementary businesses:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

At this time, it is not certain who will be directing the Bioport development.

Exploratory interviews and meetings were held in 2006 to find interested parties for participation in the Bioport concept, among businesses already involved in biomass chains as well as parties in other sectors with complementary knowledge and skills (e.g. financial service providers or development companies). Activities are carried out in cooperation with the ports of Rotterdam and Groningen. Local and regional authorities, knowledge institutions and businesses are also involved.

Need for biomass imports
Of interest to the Biopact is the report's observation that Europe, and the Netherlands in particular, will become large importers of biomass. Because of the bulkiness of the raw materials (a lower energy density compared to that of fossil fuels), only sea and ocean transport will allow producers to keep transport costs low enough. The authors broadly sketch the chain through which the biomass resources will travel:
Because of these substantial volumes, new storage methods are required and large investments in transformation and conversion capacities will have to be made. In order to reduce the voluminosity of the biomass resources [...] we expect a first transformation to happen in the immediate vicinity of the production areas (within a radius of approximately 50 kilometers). So-called 'biocrude' will then be shipped to a processing site. This will be the case for biomass transformed into heavy fuels for industry. [...]
A second stream which is already being traded is that of biomass transformed locally into bio-ethanol, which is consequently transported over long distances by tanker. In both the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam, this stream is growing significantly.
Finally, solid biomass for electricity production will be imported in bulk because it is competitive with its fossil counterpart, namely coal [pp. 25-26].
Cascading and clustering
Using a 'cyclical innovation model' and a cascading model to describe the key drivers of the planned bioport and of the interlocking biomass and bioproducts streams, the authors conclude that a synergy between three clusters is most suitable for the situation in the Netherlands:

1. Science Bioport
This port would develop novel biobased products and materials. It would become a multidisciplinary knowledge center where the universities of Delft, Wageningen and Utrecht, as well as leading research organisations, cooperate intensively.
Synergies will emerge between 'hard' technology development in combination with green chemistry and plant biology.

Becoming a knowledge hub for the bioeconomy, the 'science port' is aimed at attracting highly specialised companies active in the biotech sector.

2. Cascade Bioport
The bioeconomy is fundamentally based on a cascading model: each waste-stream from a productive sector, becomes the input for a new productive stream.

The development of new applications of waste-streams will eventually create a closed loop from which high-tech bioproducts emerge. The only external input are 'primary' raw materials from abroad.

This cascading model will attract a cluster of businesses which thrive off each other.

3. Logistical Bioport
In order to create a smooth input of raw materials from abroad, the logistical port will import and store biomass, after which it is transformed into the building blocks for the green chemistry cascading cluster.
The planned infrastructure also focuses on the European hinterland (Germany, Eastern and Central Europe), which the Bioport aims to serve.

The energy needs for this logistical port will be served by biomass itself, through the utilisation of optimal and highly efficient heat and power coupling facitilies.

At the same time, electricity is produced and distributed at this node, making it an 'energy port'. This implies a 'virtual' networkport in which decentralised energy production (from biomass power plants located all over the Netherlands) will be coupled to the large-scale production of energy at the logistical port.

This way, scale advantages can be obtained.

The Bioport concept was developed by, amongst others, the following organisations: Port of Rotterdam, Technical University of Delft, Wageningen Agricultural University, Ecofys, Seaport, DoTank, LNV-Noord, the University of Utrecht, Zeeland Seaport, the Suikerunie (Sugar Union), Shell and the 'Platform Groene Grondstoffen' (Platform for Green Fuels). This consortium plans to implement the development of (parts) of the concept in the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam, before the end of 2007.

More information:
Innovation Network: 'Bioport' concept page [*Dutch].
Innovation Network: Bioport: Nederland als mainport voor biomassa - report [*.pdf or check the intro page presenting the report, in *.html format], Jan. 2007.

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Total launches the first integrated CO2 capture and geological sequestration project in a depleted natural gas field

We have been reporting quite frequently on developments in carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies, because they ultimately allow the creation of a radically carbon-negative energy system, so-called 'bio-energy with carbon storage' (BECS). In such a system, carbon-neutral biofuels (liquid, solid or gaseous) are burned in power plants, after which the carbon dioxide emissions are captured and stored underground. The net CO2-balance of the system is negative. Scientists believe BECS can take us back to pre-industrial CO2 levels in a matter of decades (earlier post).

Large investments are being poured into CCS technologies and R&D programs, but so far, very few actual projects have come online.

French energy firm Total now changes this situation with its announcement of the launch of a pilot CO2 capture and sequestration project in the Lacq basin in southwestern France. The project, which leverages a technique considered among the most promising in the fight against climate change, calls for up to 150,000 metric tons of CO2 to be injected into a depleted natural gas field in Rousse (Pyrenees) over a period of two years as from end-2008.
“This project will demonstrate the role that CO2 capture and sequestration can play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from industrial installations. It represents the first integrated CO2 capture system using oxy-fuel combustion combined with storage in a depleted hydrocarbon field.” - Christophe de Margerie, President Exploration & Production of Total.
The first link in the chain is a steam production unit at the Lacq gas processing plant. Oxygen will be used for combustion rather than air to obtain a more concentrated CO2 stream that will be easier to capture. Once purified, the CO2 will be compressed and conveyed via pipeline to the depleted Rousse field, 30 kilometres from Lacq, where it will be injected through an existing well into a rock formation 4,500 metres under ground:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

Following preliminary studies in 2006, the Rousse field was selected for its geological structure, which gave the best guarantee of sustainable storage. Total has just launched the engineering study phase. CO2 injection is scheduled to begin in November 2008.

The project, which will cost nearly 60 million euros, will be carried out in partnership with Air Liquide and in cooperation with the French Petroleum Institute (IFP), the French Bureau of Geological and Mining Research (BRGM) and others.

Over the past ten years, Total has participated in several CO2 sequestration projects, notably in saline aquifers at North Sea oil production sites. The capture and sequestration of CO2 provides yet another way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions alongside programs already deployed by the Group to develop renewable energy sources, reduce flaring of associated gas and make production facilities more energy efficient.

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Can you tackle global warming? Play the Climate Challenge game to find out

Imagine you are the President of the European Nations. You're in control of a few hundred billion €uros and global political influence. Your mission: to tackle climate change by the year 2100.

Tools at your disposal: European, national and local policy options on energy, infrastructure, trade and the economy, housing, water, food and transport. Different policies to bring down greenhouse gas emissions have different costs: you can establish small forests, create wind power farms or make money by privatising the electricity sector. But be careful how you manage your money and natural resources. They are scarce goods. And a wrong decision can have grave effects on your future capacity to act. Moreover, not all policies are equally popular amongst your European citizens. And they're judging you all the time.

Obviously, Europe can't tackle climate change all by itself. Therefor you go out and negotiate with leaders from other regional blocks to co-operate. Some of them are more likely than others to implement policies for the creation of a low carbon economy. Be smart and influence the right parties. If necessary, hand out subsidies to turn them around. Your ultimate aim is to agree on binding, global targets to reduce carbon emissions.

The BBC developed a so-called 'serious game' which allows you to play and learn about strategies and tactics to achieve exactly these goals. The Climate Challenge game is fairly basic but realistic:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

In several decadal rounds, you must take decisions on a wide range of issues. All of them influence both your budget and your emissions balance. After you've played the European round (screenshot 1, click to enlarge) you get reviews in the Climate Times, a journal that assesses your performance for the past 10 years.

Your European strategy limits the amount of power and money available to play on the international stage (screenhot 2, click to enlarge). Here you try to influence global decision makers from all continents. As you move on in time, you can begin to form alliances with which to create a breakthrough. Remember, only a globally binding target will save the planet...

Be sure to check out the Climate Challenge. The web-based flash-game has a good tutorial and it covers the reality of the challenges we're up against quite well.

And do let us know if you succeeded in saving us!

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An in-depth look at the global carbon market

A perennial problem in international climate politics is how to engage developing nations in controlling greenhouse-gas emissions. These countries have more immediate priorities than climate change. Yet they must be part of any effective solution to global warming, for their emissions are high and rising (although not nearly as high, on a per capita basis, as those of the industrialized world).

To encourage developing-country participation, the Kyoto Protocol established a global market for emissions reductions in 2003 called the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). But is the system really working? Does it effectively result in lower emissions? And which countries are benefiting most? We already know that African countries are missing the boat entirely, and need far more support to win CDM projects (earlier post).

Writing for Nature, Michael Wara analyses the market and looks at its successes and shortcomings.

The CDM works by paying developing countries to adopt lower-polluting technologies than they otherwise would. For example, rather than building an inefficient but cheap coal-fired power plant, a Chinese utility might choose instead to build a more efficient gas-fired plant that emits less carbon dioxide. The difference in potential carbon emissions between the coal and gas plants can, after monitoring and certification, be converted into CDM credits that can be sold to an industrialized nation party to the Kyoto Protocol. The revenue from the credits enables the utility to afford the more expensive gas plant. The purchase of low-cost credits by industrialized nations to offset their own emissions reduces the cost of complying with Kyoto. The mechanism works because it is cheaper to construct low-carbon energy infrastructure from scratch in developing nations than to modify or replace existing technology in industrialized nations:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

The CDM has become an important component of how European governments intend to comply with their Kyoto commitments because it reduces the cost of compliance. It is also essential to energy companies and others involved in the European cap-and-trade programme for CO2, called the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Last year, the United Kingdom proposed that ETS emitters with CO2 caps should be allowed to use CDM credits to meet up to two-thirds of their ETS effort. Together, the CDM and ETS are the keystones of an emerging global regime of linked but distinct markets for greenhouse-gas emission controls.

But is the CDM working? The answer depends strongly on the criteria against which its success is evaluated. There is near unanimous agreement that the CDM has succeeded in engaging many buyers and sellers and substantially reducing emissions of the six Kyoto Protocol gases (CO2, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride). So far in the CDM scheme, the projected reductions for all these gases combined add up to more than 1.75 billion tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions3. This equates to annual reductions of 278 million tonnes, a very small fraction of the annual global CO2 emissions (26 billion tonnes in 2003)3.

Active primary and secondary (resale) markets in CDM credits have emerged, along with sophisticated systems for verification and delivery. Developing nations that were initially sceptical of the CDM — notably China and India — have entered the market with great enthusiasm and now sell the most credits. The regulatory regime administered by the United Nations has overcome both funding and logistical hurdles to emerge as a relatively successful arbiter of the global marketplace. These political accomplishments are outstanding, but they are not sufficient to judge the effort a success.

In other, and perhaps more important ways, the CDM is failing to deliver results. Initially, the market was expected to create strong incentives to invest in infrastructure for low-carbon energy in developing countries. Although many gases cause global warming, CO2 matters most because it is emitted in prodigious quantities and has a long atmospheric lifetime. The energy sector is generally the largest emitter of CO2 in any country. Yet a detailed look at CDM projects producing and selling credits reveals that nearly two-thirds of emissions reductions involve neither CO2 nor energy production (see chart, click to enlarge).

The largest volume of credits, almost 30% of the entire market, come from capturing and destroying trifluoromethane (HFC-23), a potent greenhouse gas that is a by-product of the manufacture of refrigerant gases. At current carbon market prices (approxeuro dollar10 (approxUS$13) per tonne of CO2) and neglecting taxes, these HFC-23 credits amount to euro dollar4.7 billion up to 2012 (the end of the first compliance period of the Kyoto Protocol). In fact, HFC-23 emitters can earn almost twice as much from CDM credits as they can from selling refrigerant gases — by any measure a major distortion of the market4. The distortion exists because it is extremely cheap to cut HFC-23 emissions from these facilities. Indeed, in the industrialized world similar manufacturers have chosen to reduce their emissions voluntarily. An alternative approach to cutting HFC-23 emissions from the small number of refrigerant producers in the developing world (17 at the last count) would be to pay them for the extra cost of installing the simple technology needed to capture and destroy HFC-23. This technological solution would cost the developed world less than euro dollar100 million, saving an estimated euro dollar4.6 billion in CDM credits that could be spent on other climate-protecting uses. Similar technological fixes could work for industrial emissions of nitrous oxide from nylon feedstock and fertilizer manufacture.
Trading places

Supporters of HFC-23 projects argue that the entire point of the CDM is to identify low-cost opportunities to reduce emissions, and once identified, they should not be skimmed off the top of the market. But the CDM is both a market and a subsidy from industrialized to developing countries. As a subsidy, it should be judged by how effectively it reduces emissions for each dollar expended. In these terms, the CDM is a very inefficient subsidy. An alternative mechanism for reducing HFC-23 would require a separate protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, but would be administratively tractable because of the small number of installations involved. Indeed, a similar mechanism has proven successful in compensating developing nations for the cost of switching from ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol.

Future emissions scenarios suggest that unless China and India can be convinced to build mostly efficient, low-carbon-emitting electricity-generating plants from natural gas rather than coal over the next one to two decades, little can be done to stem the tide of global climate change. Perversely, the presence of cheap non-CO2 credits such as HFC-23 in the market is a disincentive to developing new carbon-limiting energy projects that would help to achieve this goal.

There is an obvious solution to what is wrong with the CDM: make the global carbon market a market for CO2 rather than for all six Kyoto Protocol gases. The first two years of the CDM have generated high participation that could be harnessed to put the developing world, especially China and India, on a path to a low-carbon future. The existing structure of the carbon market is fixed for the period of the Kyoto Protocol. To attempt a change in mid-course would alarm investors, but European Union governments as well as Japan can send a clear signal that after 2012, they are interested in purchasing CO2-only credits, and that preference will be given to projects in the energy sector.

Given sufficient warning, the energy sector in China and India will probably meet this new demand for low-cost carbon credits from the developed world. Industrial emissions of HFC-23, nitrous oxide and methane should, at the same time, be addressed by a separate agreement that fully compensates producers of these gases for the cost of abating emissions. Rich nations would save money by paying the actual cost of abatement rather than inflated market prices, and use these savings for further climate abatement through the CDM or other policies and measures.

But fixing the carbon market is unlikely to be enough to put major developing nations on a path to low-carbon energy. Because the CDM awards credits for the difference between baseline and actual emissions from a project, its impact will always be marginal. Ultimately, it is the baseline emissions path that must be altered if the problem of global warming is to be resolved.

What matters in the long term is the type of energy infrastructure that gets locked into place in the world economy. Tackling that problem requires identifying economic, national security, as well as energy priorities of the major developing economies and then finding ways to align them with low-carbon energy infrastructures. The CDM, no matter what the price of carbon, is unlikely to convince China that it makes more sense to depend on foreign sources of natural gas than on cheaper domestic coal. Similarly, India is unlikely to pursue nuclear energy to significantly reduce its carbon emissions, given the challenges of non-proliferation and nuclear waste, without greater international support6.

The CDM might have a role to play here by creating a secure market for future technology for low-carbon energy. But this won't happen while market resources are diverted into abating waste gases associated with the refrigerant, nylon and fertilizer industries. In the period beyond 2012, signatories to Kyoto should recognize that measures in addition to the global carbon market are needed to set the developing world on a path towards a sustainable-energy future. These include substantial increases in technology investment, agreements to share low-carbon technologies as they are developed and a commitment to fostering resilient energy markets and security arrangements so that it is in the interest of key developing nations to foster low-carbon economic growth.

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European farmers move ahead with bioenergy plans, as UK farmers lag behind

Germany's Deutsche Landwirtschafts Gesellschaft (German Agricultural Society) has published the results of its 2006 Trendmonitor Survey of nearly 3,000 farmers in six European countries. The survey findings revealed marked differences in the type of bioenergy sources currently being used by farmers in individual countries and also their preferences for, and specific plans to adopt, bioenergy sources for future energy generation.

The countries surveyed by the DLG were the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, and the UK. Farmers were asked to evaluate eleven different bioenergy sources in terms of their potential future contribution to their farming business and asked to detail any concerns. The survey offers an interesting overview of how this type of renewable energy is transforming agriculture:

Germany – Clear bioenergy leader

-The survey revealed continuing heavy investment in bioenergy, with activity facilitated by government schemes.
-Future planned bioenergy sources include cereal combustion (12 percent) and plant oil used as fuel (9 percent).
-Six percent of German farmers plan to start biogas production and this is in addition to the 8 percent who already have plants in operation.
- Compared to respondents from other countries in the survey, German farmers were furthest ahead in all areas with a large proportion already generating energy using bioenergy plants.
-Due to limited land area, the sourcing of bioenergy materials is quoted as the top obstacle to future progress.

France – Positive plans to invest in bioenergy activities
-Many respondents had positive plans to invest in and use seven of the eleven bioenergy sources listed in the survey.
-The most favoured bioenergy source was biodiesel (15 percent plant/ 20 percent usage) followed by rape seed (15 percent with plans).
-Other sources being planned were cereal combustion (16 percent); biogas (7 percent); photovoltaic (11 percent) and wind energy (10 percent).
-Only 2-4 percent of French respondents were operating bioenergy plants, the most popular source being wood.
-Over half the French farmers surveyed currently use wood as a heating source and a further six percent have further plans in this area.
-In France, construction and running-costs are the main areas of concern:
:: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: :: ::

UK – Bioenergy usage low but wind energy dominates future plans
-Wind energy was cited as the major planned source of renewable energy with 12 percent quoting this.
-The UK survey revealed that it had the lowest activity in nine of the eleven bioenergy sources with just one percent already having operational bioenergy plants.
-The two bioenergy sources currently used were wood for heating (16 percent) and biodiesel (3 percent). By comparison with other countries, both these usage rates are low.
-The major concern expressed by over a third of respondents was lack of experience, followed by concern over fixed costs.

Poland and Hungary – Biodiesel and plant oil fuels actively considered
-Polish and Hungarian farmers most frequently cited plans to use biodiesel and also plant oil for fuel. Both these bioenergy sources showed a positive trend.

25 percent of Czech farmers plan biogas plants
-Of all survey respondents, Czech farmers declared the most positive investment intent in biogas (25 percent).
-The main concerns expressed by respondents in these three countries were technology, financing and lack of experience.

The DLG 2006 Trendmonitor survey was conducted in 2006 using telephone interview techniques. It was published in view of the Agritechnica exhibition, organised by the DLG. At Agritechnica, the world’s number one exhibition for agricultural machinery, which will be held between 14-17 November 2007 in Hannover, bioenergy will be a key feature. A Bioenergy Center will be including companies and organisations presenting technologies, products and services from the field of bioenergy.

Having invested €6.5 billion in 2005 alone, Germany is the world leader in bioenergy production technology, making it the ideal location to present related products and services.

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