Task 43 Biomass Feedstocks for Energy

To promote sound bioenergy development that is driven by well-informed decisions in business, governments and elsewhere.



To promote sound bioenergy development that is driven by well-informed decisions in business, governments and elsewhere. This will be achieved by providing to relevant actors timely and topical analyses, syntheses and conclusions on all fields related to biomass feedstock, including biomass markets and the socioeconomic and environmental consequences of feedstock production.

Work Scope for the New Task Period (2010-2012)


The Task covers all aspects of feedstock, its markets and environmental as well as socio-economic impacts. It has a global scope and includes commercial, near-commercial and promising production systems in agriculture and forestry. The primary focus is on land use and bioenergy feedstock production systems including their markets. The Task will be concerned with issues related to the linking of sustainable biomass feedstocks to energy markets, explicitly considering environmental and socioeconomic aspects. Systems analysis integrating several disciplines will be used to conduct analyses that allow evaluation of alternatives across sectors and explicit examination of issues related to tradeoffs, compatibility and synergies between food, fibre and energy production systems and related markets.

One central aim is to achieve strong outreach and impacts as a result of Task activities. The Task will have a strong international impact by producing and providing timely and policy-relevant science and technology syntheses to targeted audiences for policy analysis and bioenergy market development.

Work Programme

  • The work programme is organized to effectively meet the Task objectives, addressing the questions.
  • How can we further develop and implement feedstock production systems to provide attractive solutions for energy security, climate change, and sustainable development?
  • How can policy and market based instruments effectively promote sustainable development, and how can science-based sustainability criteria and standards be formulated to take into account the vast regional variation in conditions for production of different feedstocks?
  • What are costs and gains associated with productivity, competitiveness and environmental performance of feedstock supply systems and how do they impact deployment and market penetration of the systems?
  • What are the motivations, opportunities and capabilities for producers in agriculture and forestry to change from conventional production systems and deploy or integrate sustainable bioenergy production systems in response to new demands? What are necessary and sufficient conditions for financial investment in developing feedstock production systems?


Reports and other deliverables will be produced throughout the triennium, including policy-relevant reviews, case studies and science and technology briefs. All extensive reports will be complemented with executive summaries directed towards identified target groups that commonly represent a non-scientific audience. The Task will also selectively target central international conferences to maximize outreach. The planning of deliverables - including identification of target groups - is proposed to take place in dialogue with the other Tasks and with ExCo and the Task expects to work with the IEA Bioenergy Secretariat in order to maximize outreach.


The Task Leader will work with the National Team Leaders to strengthen Task effectiveness and build international and regional capacity essential to have credibility in the various feedstock supply sectors, and, at the same time, capacity to deal credibly with crosscutting themes that comprehensively cover whole bioenergy systems and transcend to landscape, regional, national and international scales. Recognizing the need to integrate feedstock supply with energy conversion and end-use, the Task will collaborate with other cross-cutting Tasks as well as conversion Tasks to ensure that analytical and conceptual linkages with markets are strong.



Contact national team leader - Task 43

Kevin McDonnell
Biosystems Engineering
School of Agriculture, Food Science & Veterinary Medicine
Veterinary Science Centre
Belfield, Dublin 4
Tel.: 00353 (0)1 716 7472
Email: kevin.mcdonnell@ucd.ie
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