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IEE Pellcert Europe (2012-2014):
standardizing wood pellets trading in Europe

IEE Pelcert Project: Standardizing industrial wood pellet trading in EuropeWood pellets are new form of upgraded biomass characterised by high energy density, low production cost and low process energy requirements. They are an excellent fuel both for residential and service heating and for producing CHP, DH and green electricity. The current European pellet market of approx. 10 million tons is expected to grow to up to 100 million tons by 2020.

The key objective of the Pellcert project was to create and implement an ambitious and uniform certification system for pellets in Europe, called “ENplus”, which will be used both by the heat, CHP and the power markets, small and large scale, for intra European trade but also for imports. In addition, sustainability criteria will be designed to be part of ENplus or come on top and create a “ENplus GREEN” scheme.

Intelligent energy europe: for a sustainable future

The project was proposed by a unique consortium of 10 pellets associations (covering AT, BE, DE, ES, FI, FR, HU, IT, PT, SE), ensuring a direct relationship with pellets market players. LABORELEC represented the interest of the power sector, and coordinated activities with members of EURELECTRIC and other industrial users in the medium-large scale heat sector and CHP. The European Biomass Association AEBIOM has led the project.

Introduced along with biofuels in the RES Directive, sustainability criteria are heavily debated for the time being, but only private initiatives have really started (LABORELEC/GDF Suez, Green Gold Label by Essent/RWE). Power companies, importing large pellets quantities, are favourable to a uniform sustainability scheme for fair competition reasons and level playing field. The scheme (ENplus) is a scheme endorsed by market actors, after consultation with stakeholders from scientific arenas, certification bodies, environmental NGOs, and relevant EC officials, that will be pragmatic, feasible, ambitious but realistic.

Standardizing industrial wood pellets for power

Laborelec wood pellets biomass analysis biomassa analyse report overviewAll biomass-fired power plants rely on long-term contracts. When one of them needs to shut down unexpectedly, it is in the plant’s best interest to trade its wood pellet supply. Hence, contract forms and legal conditions must be harmonized to ensure appropriate trading conditions. In addition, technical specifications and sustainability requirements for wood pellets need to be standardized.

Initiative Wood Pellets Buyers was launched by GDF SUEZ and unites utility firms that fire large quantities of wood pellets in June 2010. The goal to enable the trading of industrial wood pellets among the partnering companies was achieved in June 2012 through the development of industrial wood pellets specifications I1/I2/I3 and uniform contract form. Laborelec participated in this work panel as the key technical expert. The industrial wood pellets specifications have been integrated within the new ISO standard in June 2012.

Initiative Wood Pellets Buyers has proposed uniform sustainability principles and criteria and was turned into Sustainable Partnership in May 2013 to develop a global sustainability scheme for the power industry.


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