This latestNorth American Bioenergy Forecastexamines the development of the North American pellet, wood energy and cellulosic biofuel industries through 2016. This includes an assessment of regional wood fiber supply and demand to determine the growth potential for bioenergy industries as well as the costs these industries will experience for feedstock over the next five years.
Some of the discoveries of RISI's analysis include:
- Wood fiber consumption by bioenergy industries is projected to more than double over the next five years -- going from 17 million tons in 2011 to 38 million tons in 2016.
- Wood pellet capacity will continue to expand at an impressive 19% annually from 2011-2016.
- RISI has reduced its forecasted capacity for biomass power generation by 22% as of 2015. The forecast assumes successful projects will be associated directly with a utility or a forest products company.
- Commercialization of cellulosic biofuels appears likely to occur within the next five years. Wood fiber consumption will remain on a relatively small scale, projected at 4 million dry tons in 2016. Growth of this industry could be greater than we assume.
- The woodfiber supply/demand balance will become progressively tighter based on growth in demand by the pulp and OSB sector, in addition to new markets associated with bioenergy industries. However, fiber supply shortages are not expected to be a major issue in most regions with wood prices remaining fairly low on an inflation-adjusted basis.