Good potential for domestic iLUC-free feedstock to meet future biofuel demand in Sweden

In order for Sweden to reach its goal of a fossil free transport sector by the year 2030, the forecast demand for biofuels is 20 TWh. In a newly finished study within the Swedish Energy Agency and f3 collaborative research program Renewable transportation fuels and systems (F√∂rnybara drivmedel och system) it was investigated whether and how this demand can be met by biofuels produced from domestic feedstock. The scope was narrowed to biomass that does not cause land use change effects, since the European Commission has communicated that use of biofuels based on feedstock which could be used instead for food or feed will not be supported in the future. The reason for this policy decision is that increased biofuel production could stimulate direct land use change (dLUC) or indirect land use change (iLUC), leading to release of soil carbon and other greenhouse gases.

From the four studied raw material categories - agricultural residues, ley produced on previously unused arable land, crops from arable land such as intermediate crops, and intensification of ley cultivation - the study found that about 4-10 TWh of biofuels can be produced from iLUC-free agricultural feedstock in Sweden. The range is dependent on the assumed biofuel conversion rate.

Literature indicated that another 8-11 TWh biofuel could be contributed by iLUC-free feedstock from other sectors (forest residues, industrial by-products and residues, and residues from other parts of society in Sweden, marine feedstock not included).

The project, titled Biofuels from biomass from agricultural land - land use change from a Swedish perspective, has been led by Serina Ahlgren, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), with participants also from Lund University. A reference group was also associated to the project, consisting of representatives from relevant stakeholders. 

Besides the final report from the study, the project has delivered a popular summary (in Swedish) of background facts and conclusions based on two scientific articles (one published, the other forthcoming), published by Lund University.

Read more about the project and access available publications here.