Adoption of Biomass Heating Systems: Cross-Market Segmentation of the European Region

Adoption of Biomass Heating Systems: Cross-Market Segmentation of the European Region

Inmaculada García-Maroto (University of Granada, Spain) and Francisco Muñoz-Leiva (University of Granada, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8262-7.ch009
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During the past decade, the European directives have been taking into consideration some compulsory objectives concerning the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (including biomass) within the European Union and its Member States. This chapter identifies the main socio-economic determinants that affect the adoption of biomass heating systems, as well as a description and listing of potential adopters of this type of systems in the European market. Based on the theories of adoption of innovations or of new systems and their personal factors, the practical was focused on potential adopters of biomass heating systems living in Spain, Germany, UK, France, Norway and Sweden. In particular, we conducted a cross-market segmentation of these countries. This study also includes interesting recommendations related to the commercialization and development of this type of heating for end-consumers.
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The entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol for the period 2008-2012 as an answer to the need to fight climate change provides the global reduction of the main greenhouse gas emissions. This goal of reducing gas emissions at the global level is specified in the new EU energy strategy, which includes a significant package of measures related to energy and climate, such as the goal of reaching 20% of energy savings and reducing by 20% the greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, the horizon year for achieving these goals (EC, 2010). In particular, the Directive 2009/28/CE of the European Parliament and the Council, of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources includes a series of compulsory goals for the EU and all Member States, the development of national action plans to reach these goals and the notification of these plans to the European Commission.

In particular, some national action plans for renewable energies include specific measures for the promotion of the use of energy from biomass, under a household or a commercial perspective or in order to improve availability of biomass in the agricultural and forest sector (as stated in the Renewable Energy Action Plans under Directive 2009/28/EC; an example from the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, 2012).

The products derived from biomass can be used for both thermal and electrical purposes. More exactly, biomass is used for water and space heating in households, as well as for producing heat in industrial processes (European Biomass Association, 2013). As general information, over 50% of the total energy consumption in Europe at present is used for generating heat for either domestic or industrial purposes.

Table 1 shows renewable energy and biomass consumption in the countries analyzed in the practical application of this chapter.

Table 1.
Final energy consumption, total RES and biomass in 2011 (Ktoea)
CountriesTotal Final EnergyRES%RES/Total Final EnergyBiomass%biomass/Total Final Energy
Spain (ES)86,53213,61415.73%5,8986.82%
Germany (DE)207,09326,61612.85%16,2407.84%
United Kingdom (UK)132,0235,6544.28%3,0212.29%
Sweden (SE)32,16815,45248.04%8,53926.55%
France (FR)148,06518,23612.32%12,0438.13%
Norway* (NO)20,62320,66058.81%1,2586.10%

Source: Prepared based on Eurostat data, AEBIOM calculations

*Source: Prepared based on data from theMinistry of Petroleum and Energy (2012, pp. 9, 10, 136).

a.Ktoe: 1,000 tons of oil

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