Biomass Flows

The forest bioeconomy team collects and harmonises data which enters as input into cross-sectorial biomass flow diagrams and into the Wood Resource Balance, a balance sheet for woody biomass.

Biomass flow diagrams (Sankey diagrams) represent in a unique view the flows of biomass of different sectors of the bioeconomy, from supply to uses including trade. Flows are used to illustrate cascade uses, the competition and synergies as well as the importance of different sub-sectors. Within the biomass mandate, forest biomass flows are integrated with flows from other bio-based sectors: the agriculture and seafood supply chains.

The Wood Resource Balance is useful in providing an overview over sources and uses of woody biomass, and—most importantly—highlighting data gaps and inconsistencies. As for any balance sheet, the two sides should balance, were all data reported correctly. Sources of woody-biomass are recorded on the left side of the balance sheet: (i) primary (from forests and other wooded land, also accounting for roundwood net-trade), and (ii) secondary (industrial by-products and residues, wood pellets, wood briquettes, and post-consumer wood, also considering net-trade in industrial by-products and residues, wood pellets, and wood briquettes), whereas the right side of the balance sheet shows in which sectors the woody biomass is used, in (iii) manufacturing of wood-based commodities or for (iv) energy generation, all in a common measurement unit. The available information, needed for evaluating the WRB for all EU member states (MS), has been growing steadily in the last years, even if in some cases it remains fragmentary and inaccurate. Nevertheless, careful scrutiny of the data allows one to underline and—in some cases—resolve some inconsistencies, while time series analysis permits the inference of some missing data.


Forest biomass flow diagram in million tons of solid wood equivalent for the 28 EU member states in 2015.


References:
Camia A., Robert N ., Jonsson R. , Pilli R. , García-Condad o S., López-Lozano R., van der Velde M., Ronzon T., Gurría P., M’Barek R., Tamosiunas S., Fiore G., Araujo R., Hoepffner N., Marelli L., Giuntoli J.: Biomass production, supply, uses and flows in the European Union.  First results from an integrated assessment, EUR 28993 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2018, ISBN 978-9 2-7 9-7 7237-5, doi:10.2760/539520, JRC109869  

Cazzaniga N.E., Jonsson R., Palermo D., Camia A. (2019). Sankey diagrams of woody biomass flows in the EU-28. EC Joint Research Centre, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg.

Cazzaniga N.E., Jonsson R., Pilli R., Camia A. (2019). Wood Resource Balances of EU-28 and Member States. EC Joint Research Centre, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, doi:10.2760/020267, JRC114889

Mission

As the science and knowledge service of the European Commission, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to support EU policies with independent evidence throughout the whole policy cycle.