Representatives from 39 embassies and trade offices from around the world gathered at the beginning of December for the traditional get-together held by Elmia and the Swedish Bioenergy Association Svebio to focus on the latest news and innovations in bioenergy. Planning is also fully underway for World Bioenergy 3–5 June in Jönköping, Sweden, featuring conferences, site visits and workshops.
“Bioenergy is playing a major role today and will continue to be of key importance in supplying renewable energy for electricity, heating and transportation,” said Heinz Kopetz, President of the World Bioenergy Association (WBA), at the meeting held in Stockholm on 4 December.
He presented a global vision of how renewable energy sources can meet almost 100 percent of the world’s energy needs for electricity, heating and transportation. The WBA’s vision for the future states that biomass is the most important source of renewable energy and will remain so for the next twenty years, until solar and wind power are able to play a greater role.
The World Bioenergy event encompasses everything from visions, concepts and knowledge to practical management and business deals. One totally new feature is the solution-oriented workshops to be held within the frame of the conference.
“World Bioenergy is a unique meeting place for the global bioenergy industry thanks to its combination of theory, practice, problem solving and being a meeting place for business deals,” explains Kjell Andersson, Information Secretary at Svebio, who is in charge of much of the conference programme.
Handling and recycling ash, fossil-free agriculture for the production of energy crops, and the efficient transport of biomass are just some topics of the workshops to be held at World Bioenergy 2014. One facility for delegates to visit on the study tour is Stockaryd terminal, 60 kilometres south of Jönköping. Opened in 2008, the terminal is used for timber, pulpwood and biomass. Every year several hundred trains are loaded there. One feature of the site visit will be a demonstration of pulpwood handling and large-scale wood chipping, all of which can be done efficiently at the terminal.
“Our workshops have study tours linked to them so delegates can see how things work in practice,” Andersson explains. “We also want to create meeting places so people can compare experiences, make business contacts and do deals, and also to foster contacts between companies, researchers and innovators. Participants should be able to learn about ‘know-how’ – what can be done in theory – ‘show-how’ – how to do it in practice – and also ‘know-who’ – how to find the right people and contacts.”
As part of World Bioenergy, SPCI (the Swedish Association of Pulp and Paper Engineers) will hold conference sessions on the theme of biorefineries.
“This is an extension of what’s happening in the forest industry,” comments Marina Asp, Executive Director of SPCI. “We believe this is a new and exciting field that is expanding more and more within the industry.”
In addition, the prestigious World Bioenergy Award will also be presented on the fair’s opening day on 3 June. The award goes the individual who has made a significant and innovative difference to the bioenergy sector: a business leader, politician or researcher who in a crucial way has furthered the development of the sector.
Bioenergy issues bring the whole world together. That message was clear at the international gathering of representatives from embassies and trade offices in Stockholm this month.
“We’re seeing a very great and unified interest in bioenergy from around the world,” says Klas Brandt, Project Manager and Exhibition Manager of World Bioenergy 2014. “We already have joint stands for Poland, Australia and Finland, and more international bookings are imminent.”