Biomass pellets can be derived from various sources including woody plants, timber industry, sawdust, sugarcane crop, and switch grass. It is commonly used as a heating fuel. The increasing use of biomass pellets in power industry is propelling the growth of the global biomass pellet market. The growing demand for renewable energy source is one of the important factors, which is supporting the adoption of biomass pellets in the power industry. The increased government initiatives and stringent environment regulations are the key drivers promoting the growth of the global biomass pellet market.
The implementation of stringent environmental regulations across the globe is propelling the demand for efficient renewable energy sources. Fossil fuels, such as coal, natural gas, and petroleum are the primary non-renewable sources of energy across the globe. Globally, the major portion of energy requirements is fulfilled by fossil fuels. The global consumption of fossil fuels continues to increase, which is driving the rapid depletion of fossil fuels. Moreover, global warming is a major environmental challenge across the globe. The different governments and international organizations are framing stringent environmental regulations, in order to reduce the pollution and carbon emissions. This further compels the governments to adapt renewable energy technologies, such as wind, biomass, solar and tidal energy for power generation. Biomass pellets provide an efficient solution to decrease the global dependency on fossil fuels and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The increased level of investments in the biomass industry has propelled the technological advancement. There has been a recent upsurge worldwide in co-firing of biomass with coal, since it is a carbon neutral fuel, which helps to reduce emissions from thermal power plants. The increased demand for the adoption of biomass based power generation, along with traditional methods of power generation using fossil fuels is responsible for fuelling the growth of the global biomass pellets market.
The power sector application segment is expected to witness the fastest growth (12.4% CAGR) during 2015 – 2020, in the global market. Based on application, the heat sector segment held the largest market size, with 14,256.0 million tons volume in 2014, and it is expected to reach 27,122.3 million tons by 2020, growing with a CAGR of 8.7% during the period 2015-2020.
The global biomass pellet market was valued at $6,976.3 million in 2014, and it is expected to grow with a CAGR of 11.1% during 2015 - 2020. Europe accounted for the largest share of the global biomass pellet market with 20,000.0 million tons consumed in 2014. The major reasons behind growth of the market in the region were low GHG emission from biomass and increased government initiatives for renewable technologies. The market in Europe is expected to maintain its growth rate, mainly driven by various subsidies and legislation.
In 2014, North America accounted for the second largest share in the global biomass pellet market, in terms of value and volume. The major reason behind growth of the market in the region were increasing demand of biomass pellets in industrial sector, strict environmental regulations, and increasing concern for global warming. Therefore, the high rate of depletion of fossil fuels and increasing demand for the reduction of greenhouse gases are indirectly creating ample opportunities for the growth of the North American market.
The key companies operating in the global biomass pellet market include Viridis Energy Inc., Drax Biomass, Enviva Biomass, Westervelt Renewable Energy LLC, International WoodFuels LLC, Energex, Helius Energy Ltd., Forest Energy Corporation, and New England Wood Pellet.