Latest JRC data on biomass supply and demand in Europe show that around 1.2 billion tonnes of biomass was supplied and used in the EU in 2015.
Biomass comes mainly from primary sources (1 billion tonnes) such as agricultural crops (52%) and their collected residues (10%), grazed biomass (12%), forestry (27%) as well as fisheries and aquaculture (<1%).
An additional 0.2 billion tonnes are supplied from secondary sources such as recycled paper, reuse of by-products from wood processing and recovery of wood and other bio-waste.
Supply of biomass from waste recovering is increasing. Over the period 2010-2015, the amount of biological waste that is not recovered (via recycling or energy recovery) was reduced by as much as 45%. This shows the increasing importance of circular economy approaches.
This biomass is used to cover different needs, ranging from animal feed and bedding (43%), plant-based food (9%) and seafood (<1%) to energy (23%) including heat, power and biofuels, various material uses (24%) such us wood products and furniture, textiles, and different types of innovative bio-based chemicals.
The overall biomass use in the EU has grown by around 8.5% over the period 2010-2015. In absolute terms, most of the increase was due to rising demand for bioenergy (+67 Mt), followed by increased demand for bio-based materials (+15 Mt) and for animal feed and bedding (+10 Mt).
In relative terms too, the use of biomass for bioenergy has shown a remarkable growth by about 32% during this period. The use of biomass for producing materials has increased overall by 5.6% from 2010 to 2015. Within this category, the bio-based chemical sectors exhibited the highest relative increase (+48.4%), but in absolute terms this remains a very small fraction of the total domestic consumption of biomass (0.1%).
agriculture, forestry and fisheries statistics
Joint Forest Sector Questionnaire (Eurostat, UNECE, FAO, ITTO)
Joint Wood Energy Enquiry (UNECE/FAO)
NREAP (National Renewable Energy Action Plans) Progess Reports
National Forest Inventories (NFI)
State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2016 (FAO)
FAO Global Capture Production database (FAO)
International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES)
Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF)
International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT)
Camia et al., 2018, Biomass production, supply, uses and flows in the European Union. First results from an integrated assessment, EUR 28993EN, doi:10.2760/539520, JRC109869
Gurria, P. et al., 2017, Biomass flows in the European Union: The Sankey biomass diagram - towards a cross-set integration of biomass, EUR 28565 EN, doi:10.2760/352412, JRC106502
JRC Biomass Study Pursuant to the Mandate on the provision of data and analysis on a long-term basis on biomass supply and demand by the JRC