Knowledge for policy



The bioeconomy as it is described in the Bioeconomy Strategy (COM(2012) 60 final) is based on biomass since it "encompasses the production of renewable biological resources and the conversion of these resources and waste streams into value added products, such as food, feed, bio-based products and bioenergy".

Biomass is defined as "the biodegradable fraction of products, waste and residues from biological origin from agriculture (including vegetal and animal substances), forestry and related industries including fisheries and aquaculture, as well as the biodegradable fraction of industrial and municipal waste" (source: Renewable Energy Directive).

Measuring biomass availability is important because it is limited, which can potentially lead to competition for biomass between different biomass-using sectors.

The results described on this page are based partly on work carried out in the context of the JRC Biomass Assessment Study. However, they do not constitute its official output.

Biomass production in EU-28 by biomass type in the year of reference


Time series of economic and residue production from agriculture

Agricultural biomass production in EU-28 Member States


In the statistics, forests available for wood supply (FAWS) are separated from forests not available for wood supply. FAWS are defined as forests where no legal, economic or specific environmental restrictions have a significant impact on the supply of wood (UNECE/FAO, 2000).

Forest area in 2013 in EU-28 by the availability for wood supply

The Above-Ground Biomass (AGB) is assessed as the Growing stock, which is the volume of living and standing stems over a specified land area. Included are stem volumes from the stump height to the stem top and the bark.

Above Ground woody Biomass (AGB) in 2013 by country in EU-28

(Results from NFI data harmonised -calibrated with harmonized country estimates- and aligned to 2013 after reconstructing the time series with CBM)

The Net Annual Increment (NAI) is defined as the “average annual gross increment in above ground biomass less natural losses". The increment in the biomass of all trees higher than 1.3 m is considered.