Knowledge base for biobased raw materials

Many sectors envision a role for biobased raw materials in the energy and raw materials transition. However, there are still many uncertainties: about the extent to which the available amount of biobased raw materials will be sufficient for the growing demand from various sectors, the role of biobased raw materials is in the transition and the environmental impact of growing non-food crops. This study for Nature & Environment (Natuur & Milieu) presents the current state of knowledge on these issues. Our focus is on the supply and demand for biobased raw materials in the Netherlands in 2030.

A main finding of the study is that the scarcity of biobased raw materials will increase sharply between now and 2030. The demand for biobased raw materials in the Netherlands is expected to increase by 70-100%. This will complicate the utilisation of biobased raw materials for higher-value applications, such as in the chemical industry, and will lead to increasing reliance on imports of biobased raw materials from abroad. It is expected that by 2030, biobased raw materials will mainly be used in applications with lower societal value, as there are more policies supporting these applications. This is at odds with the Dutch government’s sustainability framework for biobased raw materials, as well as that of the EU.

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