Global energy consumption was 540 EJ in 2010, up about 80 % from 1980. Energy demand is predicted to grow
more than 50 % by 2025. Without radical change, fossil fuels will supply about 75 % of energy demand in 2030, substantially increasing atmospheric CO2. One
solution is to replace fossil fuels by renewable biomass. Cultivated woody biomass has many
advantages such as allowing multiple harvests without having to
re-plant. Poplar, eucalyptus, salix, paulownia and black locust are
common examples. This article reviews the current situation
and future tendency of biomass energy in
Europe. It also discusses the potential for
short-rotation plantations and the current
constraints in Spain.
Countries with low biomass resources and high targets for renewable
electricity may have to depend on imported solid biomass, because the expansion of short-rotation plantations is much lower than
expected in countries such as Spain.