Report on Bioenergy
Biomass in Denmark
International price conditions in the agricultural area impact on the Danish production of agricultural products. Rising prices of animal feed impact on the animal sector, which will have to manage by means of further improvement of efficiency and by consumers having to pay higher food prices.
Within the EU, where agricultural products move freely and where, furthermore, the Common Agricultural Policy applies with various types of subsidies and environmental restrictions, the Danish pig-meat production is expected to be relatively robust and Danish milk production is also expected to be maintained to the extent allowed for by the milk quota.
A Danish production of biofuels based on first-generation exploitation of starch and sugar products will hardly be competitive, not even if the EU maintains high tariff barriers against imports of bioethanol. Therefore, there are no expectations of a considerably changed crop composition in Danish agriculture as the bulk of the crops will continue to be used in the animal sector.
The Danish agricultural sector’s contribution to bioenergy production is already relatively high as 12 per cent of Danish energy consumption is covered by the use of residual products such as straw, wood chips and slurry. This is, in particular, a result of the application of these residual products in the CHP sector.
In Denmark, however, the potential for producing bioenergy from biomass is greater, and also without any particularly negative impact on the production of animal feed and foods. Estimates show that it is possible to raise Danish agricultural production of biomass for bioenergy 4-5 times through greater exploitation of straw at CHP plants, slurry for biogas, animal fat for biodiesel and by using perennial energy crops as well as grass from low-lying areas. It will, however, be necessary to include part of the former set-aside land in the production of perennial energy crops. It is a matter of a technical potential, which may not necessarily be realised with the economic framework that applies today. The previous Danish settlement price for electricity from biogas plants constitutes a barrier, but has now been improved. Nor is it certain that the farmers will consider the profit from utilising low-lying areas sufficiently large to harvest this biomass.