The prospects for large-scale import of biomass and biofuels to Sweden a review of critical issues
Conference contribution, 2006
Sweden is one of the biggest consumers of both domestic and imported biofuels in the EU. This paper evaluates the prospects for an increased and large-scale import of biofuels to Sweden in the future. The parameters included are prospective Swedish and global biofuel supply and demand, the cost, energy input and environmental impact of long-distance biofuel transport as well as the capacity of global freight and of Swedish ports to handle increased biofuel flows. The Swedish bioenergy potential seems large enough to accommodate a substantial increase in the domestic use of biofuels. However, an extensive import of biofuel feedstock would be needed for a prospective Swedish biofuel industry to be able to export substantial volumes of biofuels. The costs, including transport, of imported biofuels from regions, where the assessed potential supply of biomass are higher than the estimated future regional demand, are estimated to be equivalent to or lower than current costs of domestic biofuels. But the price is dependent on future competition for biofuels as well as freight and port capacity. Current specialization at Swedish ports may in the short term be an obstacle to a rapid increase in biofuel import. The energy input in long-distance biofuel transport is estimated to be low. However, to make large-scale biofuel trade flows acceptable special attention needs to be paid, e.g., to the impact on biodiversity and socioeconomic conditions in the exporting countries.
International bioenergy trade