|PEOPLE MISTAKENLY THINK PAPER MAKING IS A VORACIOUS ENERGY CONSUMER. BUT LOOK MORE CLOSELY AND YOU'LL DISCOVER SOME SURPRISINGLY SMALL STATISTICS ABOUT PAPER AND ENERGY....|
As industries go, paper making is a large scale undertaking and you'd expect it to generate some frightening statistics. It doesn't. On average it takes 500 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity to produce 200kg of paper, the average amount of paper that each of us consume each year.
The European paper industry is one of Europe's biggest producers of biomass energy and contributes more than a fifth of Europe’s biomass-based energy production, most of which is used to cover the sector’s own energy needs.
CEPI, the Confederation of European Paper Industries, declared in 2003 its intention to increase the share of biomass from 49% to 56% in its on-site total primary energy consumption for on-site heat and power production. This share has increased to 54.5% in 2009 and has reached 54% in 2010 (5)
What is Biomass Energy?
Biomass energy is produced by the pulp and paper industry by burning wood and waste materials from the pulping process to provide energy for the manufacturing process itself. Often excess heat & power is produced which is sold to the grid or used by the local community. Using wood for paper first and energy last creates four times more value.
What is the difference between Biomass and Fossil Fuels?
The vital difference is one of time scale. Biomass takes carbon out of the atmosphere while it is growing and returns it as it is burned. Managed on a sustainable basis biomass is a completely replenishable crop. This maintains a closed carbon cycle and preserves valuable fossil fuels.
(5) CEPI Sustainability Report 2011