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Projects and activities | 10 May 2021

The JRC Biomass Mandate

The demand for biomass is increasing worldwide. The EU’s Green Deal priorities and the EU’s green recovery may have strong impacts on biomass supply, demand and flows, which must be reconciled with environmental, social and economic sustainability in Europe as well as globally.

Sectorial policies address the issue of biomass supply and demand and their impacts from quite diverse, and at times contrasting, perspectives.

A balanced overview

Recognising the need for a balanced, overarching and scientifically robust approach to assess the status and trends of biomass sources and uses, twelve European Commission (EC) services (DG AGRI, DG CLIMA, DG INTPA, DG ENER, DG ENV, DG GROW, DG MARE, DG MOVE, DG REGIO, DG RTD, DG TRADE, SG) have given the Joint Research Centre (JRC) the mandate to provide data, models and analyses on EU and global biomass supply and demand and its environmental, social and economic sustainability.

The research, initiated in 2015, covers all sources of biomass, agricultural, forest, marine and freshwater, and includes an assessment of the impacts of the production and use of biomass, and the competition and the synergies between sectors for biomass resources. This assessment is designed to support the implementation of policy measures, and to develop and analyse scenarios for biomass supply and demand with short–term (2030), medium-term (2050) and long-term (2070) perspectives.

The JRC is thus tasked with providing the EC services, on a long-term basis, with data, models and analyses of EU and global biomass potential, supply, demand and related sustainability. The building of a comprehensive and coherent framework to handle the complexity of the issues at stake requires integration across sectors and policies, and calls for state-of-the-art biomass-related data, knowledge and modelling tools.

The activities have been organised in the JRC by setting up an institutional project, that is carried out within the scope of the Mandate on the provision of data and analysis on biomass supply and demand on a long-term basis, and coordinated with the policy Directorate-Generals (DGs) of the European Commission.

See also outputs of the JRC Biomass Mandate:


Analysis of wood resource balance gaps for the EU (2021)

The use of woody biomass for energy production in the EU (2021)

The Biomass of European Forests (2020)

Biomass flows in the European Union (2020)

Biomass production, supply, uses and flows in the European Union: First results from an integrated assessment (2018)

Biomass flows in the European Union The Sankey biomass diagram – towards a cross-set integration of biomass (2017)

Scientific papers:

Boosting the EU forest-based bioeconomy: market, climate, and employment impacts (2021)

The EU bioeconomy: supporting an employment shift downstream in the wood-based value chains? (2020)

Assessing forest availability for wood supply in Europe (2020)

Developments of economic growth and employment in bioeconomy sectors across the EU (2020)

Assessing the impacts of the EU bioeconomy on third countries (2019)

Alternative global transition pathways to 2050: Prospects for the bioeconomy (2019)

Outlook of the European forest-based sector: forest growth, harvest demand, wood-product markets and carbon dynamics implications (2018)

An assessment of forest biomass maps in Europe using harmonized national statistics and inventory plots (2018)

Are primary agricultural residues promising feedstock for the European bioeconomy? (2017)

The impact on global wood-product markets of increasing consumption of wood pellets within the European Union (2017)

Briefs & public information documents:

Brief on jobs and growth of the EU bioeconomy 2008-2017 (2020)

Brief on biomass production of fisheries and aquaculture (2020)

Brief on food waste in the European Union (2020)

Brief on algae biomass production (2019)

Wood resource balances of EU-28 and Member States (2019)

Sankey diagrams of woody biomass flows in the EU-28 (2019)

Food, feed, fibres, fuels. Enough biomass for a sustainable bioeconomy? (2019)

Brief on the use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to evaluate environmental impacts of the bioeconomy (2019)

Brief on jobs and growth of the bioeconomy 2009-2015 (2018)

Brief on agricultural biomass production (2018)

Estimating jobs and wealth in the Bioeconomy (2017)

Brief on forestry biomass production (2017)

The Sankey Biomass Diagram: Research Brief (2017)


Forest Biomass Map of Europe (2020)

Database of LCA results for bio-based commodities (2018)

EU Biomass flows (2017)

For background information on the JRC Biomass Mandate

Biomass Topic:

Biomass is the physical basis of the bioeconomy and at the core of the societal challenges it addresses. Knowledge on biomass production, availability and use is key.

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