A global window on bioenergy


Source: Elmia AB

World Bioenergy is the leading global meeting place for the bioenergy sector, featuring a trade fair, conferences and a wide range of study tours. The event is held every second year and the doors reopen this year on 25-27 May. The world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers of bioenergy-related equipment and services are exhibiting at the fair. Visitors from around the world have come to browse the fair and participate in the conference and excursions.

Not surprisingly, the largest visitor category is the energy sector, with its urgent need to switch from fossil fuels like coal, oil and fossil gas to renewable energy. Many visitors also come from the forest industry, which has a lot of biofuel potential both in the effective use of by-products and in pure energy production. Other large visitor groups are technology suppliers, the transport sector and traditional industry.

Bioenergy the biggest energy source

New statistics show that bioenergy is now Sweden’s largest source of energy for the first time in modern times.

“Bioenergy overtook oil last year and now represents 31.7% of Sweden’s energy usage compared with 30.8% for oil products for energy purposes,” says Gustav Melin, President of the Swedish Bioenergy Association, Svebio.

Sweden’s leading position in bioenergy usage attracts a lot of international interest, and this is reflected in the trade fair visitor profile, with preregistered visitors from 50 countries. The conference speakers come from leading bioenergy nations like Finland, Denmark, Canada, Germany, Brazil and Austria, as well as Russia, India, Chile, Kenya and many other countries.

Inaugural session with prize ceremony

World Bioenergy will be opened by Sweden’s Minister for Agriculture Eskil Erlandsson. Other speakers during Tuesday’s inaugural session are Argentina’s Miguel Trossero of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, who will talk on bioenergy’s possibilities in developing countries, and Thomas B Johansson of Lund University with an introduction to global bioenergy resources.

During the inaugural session the World Bioenergy Award will also be presented for the first time. The award goes to an individual somewhere in the world who has made a significant contribution to the development and use of bioenergy. The prize is founded and awarded by World Bioenergy 2010 and the World Bioenergy Association.

The conference is being held in English and this year has six major themes:

  1. Combined heat and power, combustion, heating and co-firing
  2. Forest residues – slash, stumps, small tree harvesting
  3. Policy – how to make it all happen
  4. Biofuels for transport
  5. Pellets – the new major energy commodity
  6. Energy crops, agricultural residues and by-products

Trade fair bigger than ever

Many of the machines exhibited at the fair are being demonstrated in actual operation. The action-packed outdoor area is a big attraction, with visitors able to see, hear, smell and feel what bioenergy production and handling are all about.

“This year we have exhibitors from more countries than before,” says Jakob Hirsmark, project manager of the fair’s exhibition section. “More than 220 exhibitors from 19 countries have come here to showcase their business offerings, which range from forest machines to district heating plants.”

Exhibits include some dozen shredders from six countries, pellet presses from four countries, storage/silo equipment from six countries, control and monitoring devices from five countries and boilers from four countries. Other sectors with multiple exhibitors include transport and logistics, fuel production and drying, screens and sieves, flue gas cleaning, biogas production- and upgrading units, IT and logistics systems, heat recovery, and R&D.

“It’s clear that the bioenergy sector is growing strongly both in Sweden and in many other countries,” Hirsmark says. “This is good for the energy market as a whole, good for security of supply, and, not least, good for climate targets.”

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