Biomass and CO2 neutrality

It is an ongoing discussion whether or not biomass can be considered a CO2 neutral source of energy. Within this debate, concepts like carbon pools, carbon debt and CO2 payback periods are important.

Derived from the project Heat Plan Greater Copenhagen, Ea Energy Analyses has analysed the CO2 effect of substituting coal with biomass in effective district heating plants.

Ea Energy Analyses has developed a model that is able to calculate when biomass is CO2 neutral in a given forest area. The analyses deals with the CO2 effect from using residual biomass products from the forest sector in and around Denmark as an energy source for district heating. Residual biomass products are defined as those pieces of wood that hold no use outside of those for energy purposes, and would therefore be left in the forest or be disposed of. In the reference case, this biomass will therefore undergo a natural process of decomposition.

Indirect effects on the production of timber, due to the demand for energy wood, have not been included in the calculations, but are briefly commented on. The project has not looked at the use of energy wood from otherwise unspoiled forests.

The paper was published in September of 2014.

Last update 27-Jul-2016

Further information



Biomasse og CO2

September 2014

(in Danish)


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