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Wood Bioenergy Update

This is the first blog in a series related to Forisk’s research of U.S. wood bioenergy markets published in the Q4 2015 Forisk Research Quarterly (FRQ) Publication.

Wood bioenergy projects have slowed in the U.S.; meaningful potential growth, if realized, will occur in the next five years.

The figure below details estimated wood use through 2024 associated with bioenergy by project type in the United States.  All announced projects and operating plants represent potential wood use of 119.4  million tons per year by 2024.  Based on Forisk analysis, 299 projects representing potential wood use of 84.5 million tons per year pass basic viability screening. The “estimated demand from all projects” dotted line reflects the application of Forisk’s screening to all 431 operating and announced projects tracked in Forisk’s wood bioenergy database as of October 26, 2015 (up from 429 projects as of July 31st). Projected wood use from all projects by 2024 is largely unchanged from the July 2015 estimate (down by 0.3 million tons per year). Projected wood use from projects that pass viability screens falls below the July 2015 estimate by 2.0 million tons; the decrease is primarily from project cancellations and technology changes for announced projects.

20151124 wood bioenergy update

While total U.S. pellet exports lag the 2014 pace, exports to the U.K. are running ahead of 2014 and account for 84% of the total YTD 2015.

When assessing the relevance of global demand for industrial wood pellets to projects in the U.S., geography and logistics highlight the fast growing EU and UK markets. The U.S. exported over 4 million metric tons of wood pellets in 2014, of which 73% shipped to the UK. For YTD 2015, the UK has increased its share of total U.S. pellet exports, while total volume relative to 2014 has decreased 7% on an annualized basis.

To download the most recent Wood Bioenergy US Summary, click here.

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