North-east Asia is quickly emerging as a new engine of growth for the biomass and bioenergy industries. Policy drivers in Japan, South Korea and potentially China will see a rapid expansion in biomass-fired power and CHP generation over the next decade. This should create a large new market – rivalling that of Europe – for global biomass suppliers.
North-east Asia is not well-endowed with indigeneous supplies of low-cost biomass. So, as is already the case with the region's requirements for sawlogs and pulpwood, a high proportion of the generators' biomass fuels will need to be imported. These fuels may be more varied than those used in Europe - including not just wood chips and pellets, but possibly also palm kernel shells (PKS), empty fruit brunches (EFB), rubberwood, bagasse and other agricultural residues.
Questions remain, however, about the availability of biomass feedstocks at price points that are within the paying capability of the Asian generators. Ultimately, North-east Asian biomass demand will be determined by the availability of sustainable, and affordable feedstock.