Climate change risk assessment of future import-based bioenergy supply chains in the Nordic countries

14:00 Tuesday 28 May

SS008 • OC043

Room S9


Fanny Groundstroem (Finland) 1; Sirkku Juhola (Finland) 1

1 - University of Helsinki

In an effort to reach the Paris Agreement and limit the global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, the Nordic countries have set very ambitious targets for reducing their GHG emissions in the coming years. Increasing the share of renewables in primary energy supply is an important means to achieving the targets, and bioenergy will have an important role to play in the medium-term, especially in Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Bioenergy already accounts for around 25% of TPES in these countries, and national policies are in place to increase this share further. However, domestic supply is unlikely to be able to meet increasing demand (due to mainly economic reasons), and all three countries are projected to rely more heavily on imports in the future.1

The bioenergy supply chain is usually complex (consisting simplistically of cultivation/harvesting/collection, processing and treatment, storage at various nodes of the supply chain, and transportation between different facilities) and often transnational in scope. Several nodes in the supply chain could be exposed or vulnerable to impacts of climate change, such as the cultivation of energy crops, storage or transportation2, which necessitates the need for comprehensive risk assessments of current and future import-based supply chains in order to fully account for cross-border impacts of climate change that may affect the energy sector. In addition to imports of dedicated bioenergy products, such as biofuel or wood pellets, also imports of other biomass (e.g. raw wood for the pulp industry) that indirectly ends up in energy production need to be included in a risk assessment.3

In this study, we develop and apply a climate change risk assessment to a supply chain management approach in order to identify vulnerabilities of future import-based bioenergy supply chains to impacts of climate change. We utilise scenarios and maps of future climate change impacts with the aim of highlighting risks that need to be accounted for when moving towards a bioenergy-based future energy system in Finland, Sweden and Denmark.

1. OECD/IEA (2016) Nordic Energy Technology Perspectives 2016. Paris and Copenhagen: International Energy Agency and Nordic Council of Ministers.

2. Gold S, Seuring S (2011). Supply chain and logistics issues of bio-energy production. J Clean Prod 19(1): 32-42.

3. Karhunen A, Ranta T, Heinimö J, Alakangas E (2014). Market of biomass fuels in Finland – an overview 2013. Lappeenranta, Mikkeli and Jyväskylä: Lappeenranta University of Technology, Miktech Oy and Technical Research Center of Finland.