Wood pellets are underpinning the emergence of a new commodities business in biomass and pellet markets will see double-digit growth over the next five years, according to a new report by Pöyry Forest Industry Consulting.

“Wood pellets – the bioenergy feedstock solution? Global market, players and trade to 2015” says the global wood pellet market is and will continue to be a growth area.

“Wood pellets have been identified as one of the fastest-growing bioenergy feedstock markets,” said Marek Guizot, senior consultant at Pöyry Forest Industry Consulting and regional head of forest and wood supply strategies.

Global demand for wood pellets reached nearly 12 million tonnes in 2008 and is worth approximately €2bn. Europe and North America accounted for 97% of global demand. Pöyry predicts that by 2015, global pellet demand will almost double, reaching approximately 24 million tonnes.

Hannes Lechner, head of bioenergy at Pöyry Forest Industry Consulting said that, compared with other forms of biomass, such as woodchips, wood pellets had a higher energy content per unit of volume. “This allows for greater transport efficiency over longer shipping distances, an advantage which could increase in importance as the carbon footprint of such long distance trade routes comes under the spotlight,” he said.