Energieffektiva försörjningskedjor för biobaserade energivaror
Rapport, 2010

The demand for biomass products for energy purposes has increased rapidly during the last decades due to substitution of fossil fuels with renewable alternatives. This study is focusing on the demand for biomass products from district heating and combined power and heating plants, a large consumer segment due to the conversion to biomass energy. The goals are to identify typical supply chains, energy efficiency, requirements on transport- and logistics systems and implications regarding future demand for transport capacity. Energy efficiency is defined as the energy input in the physical supply chain in relation to the energy content of the biomass product carried. Public statistics and data about biomass flows and transport solutions are scarce and fragmented. Therefore, the project is explorative and indicative based on quantitative and qualitative analyses in a transport system context. Data and information has been collected from public statistics, informal sources (business organizations), interviews and literature studies. District heating is supplied in close to 600 communities, many by small-scale systems. The supply chains are to a large extent local. But when demand for biomass increases, especially from large scale production plants for heat and electricity, more distant supply sources are needed. The evaluation of energy efficiency in typical chains shows that the energy efficiency varies between 1 and 8% including energy input for forestry logistics reflecting differ-ent assumptions regarding distances, transport solutions (road, rail) and capacities. The conclusion is therefore that the transport systems are highly energy efficient. But concerning the demand for transport capacity, the energy system has become very transport intensive. The density and energy content of biomass (e.g. wood chips) com-pared to oil products implies a volume increase by more than 10 times. The market is heavily dependent on truck transportation today. The scale factor implies a 30 times larger transport demand in vehicle kilometers compared to train kilometers for the same transport demand. In combination with a 4 – 5 times higher energy use per cargo unit for trucks, the potential for further resource and energy efficiency is large. Low cost, CO2-efficiency, reliable and continuous supply and flexibility regarding supply chains are the most essential criteria for the energy companies. Substitution of truck with train/ship kilometers is the single most effective measure to achieve a more energy efficient and less transport intensive energy system. This could be achieved through consolidation of volumes to several plants. Capacity in the railway system is probably the most demanding bottle-neck; accessibility to an adequate terminal struc-ture and highly efficient terminals are crucial; resource efficiency (time, cost) is neces-sary to reduce the impact of extra handlings.



transport systems

energy efficiency

transport demand

supply chains


Jennie Thalenius

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Logistik och transport

Kenth Lumsden

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Logistik och transport


Produktionsteknik, arbetsvetenskap och ergonomi



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