Working Paper

Waste and residue availability for advanced biofuel production in the European Union and the United Kingdom

This study presents current (2020) waste and residue feedstock availability in the European Union and the United Kingdom and provides projections for 2030 and 2050. The study considers the availability of agricultural residues, forestry residues, and biogenic waste. The study deems available only the feedstock that can be collected with no harm on the environment, and thus, takes into consideration the protection of soil quality and agricultural, forestry, and waste management. It also takes into account how much of the feedstock is currently used or combusted for energy, since displacing a feedstock from its current use can lead to indirect increases in greenhouse gas emissions.

The current total sustainable availability projections for 2030 and 2050 find that while forestry residues are kept constant, and the availability for biogenic waste decreases over time due to the Waste Framework Directive targets and decreasing population, agricultural residues increase 8.2% from 2020 to 2030, and 7.2% from 2030 to 2050. The combined effect of these three trends is a general decrease in waste and residue availability across EU member states and the UK in 2030 and 2050. This is particularly true for those countries where biogenic waste makes up a large share compared to the countries that have higher agricultural production.