There is a growing interest in using biomass as energy carrier, for instance for heat production, electricity production, transport fuel or as a feedstock for the chemical industry. However, biomass is often grown at the expense of food crops and stimulates deforestation. Careful consideration is required when using large amounts of biomass. We've updated the modelling of biomass streams in the ETM in 2019 in close collaboration with Gasunie, GasTerra, TKI Nieuw Gas and TNO. TNO supported this project by researching all required data.

Modelling principals

There are many different biomass resource streams; too many to model each one individually. Therefore we choose to distinguish these four biomass categories:

  • Wet biomass: residues from the food and beverage industry, agricultural residual streams, sewage sludge, aquatic biomass, cultivated grain products, etc.
  • Dry biomass: residual streams from forestry (tree tops, stumps, bark, branches), recycled waste wood, residual streams from agriculture (straw), and fast-growing bio-energy crops (elephant grass, willow, poplar)
  • Oil-containing biomass: rapeseed, sunflower seeds, oil palm, used frying fats.
  • Biogenic waste

TNO researched the potential of each biomass category for each country modelled in the ETM. When biomass demand exceeds this potential, then biomass will be imported from outside the region. For the Netherlands TNO researched the potentials in great detail. The potentials of over 30 biomass streams have been quantified and are shown in the last table of this document. The ETM allows users to adjust maximum biomass potentials for each biomass category with these sliders:

Biomass potential sliders

The set potentials are shown in the "Biomass demand and potential" chart along with the total demand of each biomass category. This gives the user a feeling of how much biomass is still regionally available.

Biomass demand and potential

Biomass can be used in different places throughout the model:

  • as green gas in the gas network
  • in biomass heaters for (local) heat networks
  • as transport fuel: bio-ethanol, biodiesel, bio-LNG and biokerosene
  • as co-firing in coal plants
  • as biocoal or bio-oil in power plants
  • to produce hydrogen through gasification

To get a quick overview of all future biomass streams and conversions, there is a sankey-chart visualizing these:

Biomass sankey

Users can adjust the costs of biofuels with sliders for greengas, biogas, wood, biodiesel and bio-ethanol. The costs that are used in the present year are researched by TNO:

Biomass costs sliders

Input data

Green gas production costs

TNO has researched the production cost for greengas producing technologies:

UnitWet gasification (SCW)Dry gasificationAnaerobic digestion
Production costsEUR/MWh41.3375.7963.57
Input capacityMW input20708.33
Investment costsEUR191304.7
Fixed yearly O&M costsEUR/jaar39.50.23

Caution: the production costs of green gas are not optimized; this is mainly the case for the gasification technologies. Since these technologies are fairly new, there are not many practical examples on which the costs are based.

Dutch biomass potential

TNO has researched the potential biomass production in the Netherlands for 2030:

UnitWet biomassDry biomassOil-containing biomassBiogenic waste
Dutch biomass potential 2030PJ16.847.410.521.6

These total potentials originate from the underlying biomassa streams depicted below (sorry, in Dutch only):

SectorBiomassastroomCategoriePotentie PJ (droge stof basis)Verdeelsleutel van nationale naar gemeentelijke potentie
Voedings- en genotmiddelenindustrieFrituur en restvetttenvet10.5Bevolking
Natte stromen VGInat6.5Cultuurgrond - Blijvend grasland
RWZI/AWZI-slibSlib RWZInat3.52Bevolking
Slib AWZInat1.353Cultuurgrond - Blijvend grasland
Slib verbrandafval3.39526Bevolking
Agrarische reststromenDrijfmestnat25Melkkoeien + Varkens
Droge mestdroog8.8Melkkoeien + Kippen
Strodroog2.6Granen (are)
natte gewasrestennat11Akkerbouwgroenten
Groente-, Fruit- en Tuinafval & Organische natte Fractie (GFT en ONF)GFTnat8.7Bevolking
ONF in afval (nat)nat1.8Bevolking
ONF in afval (afval)afval3.6864Bevolking
Droge biomassaResthout uit houtverwerkende industriedroog5.32Bevolking
afvalhout particulierdroog2Bevolking
Papier in afvalafval12Bevolking
Nederlandse productiebossenProductiebosdroog3.2Bos (ha)
Productiebos particulierdroog4Bevolking
Korte omloop bomendroog0.000855Totaal agrarisch terrein
Korte omloop bomen (bijschatting TNO)droog0.38Totaal agrarisch terrein
Import/onbekend particulierdroog2Bevolking
Natuur en landschapsbeheerHout van fruit- en boomteeltdroog0.396Totaal agrarisch terrein
Hout uit landschapdroog4.752Totaal gemeentelijke en waterschapswegen (km) + Park en plantsoen (ha)
Tuin/landbouw/openbaar groendroog7Bevolking
natuurgras+bermgrasnat5Totaal gemeentelijke en waterschapswegen (km) + Bos (ha)
Heidedroog0.023375Open droog natuurlijk terrein
Aquatische biomassaRiet en andere waterplantennat18Open nat natuurlijk terrein + Recreatief binnenwater + Overig binnenwater
Microalgennat1.5Totaal agrarisch terrein
EnergieteeltTotale natte energieteeltnat3.5Totaal agrarisch terrein
Totale droge energieteeltdroog1.2Totaal agrarisch terrein
Grassoorten op zoute grondnat12Noord Beveland 10% Veere 20% Vlissingen 10% Middelburg 10% Texel 10% Het Hogeland 40%

The Dutch national potentials were subdivided to municipal potentials by using the 'verdeelsleutel' for each individual biomass stream from the most right column in the table above.

TNO report

The TNO report with all data is accessible here.