Domestic biomass consumption

Biomass consumption decreased between 2000 and 2006, then increased in 2007 and 2008 partly due to increased imports of cereals, oleaginous products, food products and wood. Between 2008 and 2014 biomass consumption remains constant, after which a decrease is observed.

The issue

Included among biomass are both resources (agricultural products) and products that primarily consist of biomass such as food products. Domestic consumption of biomass is calculated as imports plus domestic extraction minus exports. Agricultural products are mainly used in animal husbandry or in the manufacturing of food and beverages. Final products are used primarily by household consumers.


Both imports and exports of biomass have increased since 2000, whereas domestic extraction, in particular harvest by agriculture (in kilograms) has remained relatively stable. Exports clearly exceed domestic extraction, indicating that a large proportion of the imported biomass is used in the production of export goods. In 2007 and 2008, imports of biomass were at an all-time high, mainly because of higher imports of cereal, oleaginous products, food products and wood. Between 2008 and 2014, biomass use remained fairly constant, followed by another decrease. This decrease was due to rising exports of biomass products such as beverages and paper while imports remained basically stable over the same period.

International comparison

With a value of 2,790 kg per capita, the Netherlands has a relatively low biomass consumption level in comparison with other European countries. The high population density and therefore the per capita availability of land area means less land is used for agriculture, a limiting factor for the domestic extraction of biomass. Ireland, Sweden and Finland top the list in terms of per capita biomass extraction. Both Sweden and Finland have high domestic extraction levels related to timber production, while Ireland has relatively high biomass production due to grazing livestock (mainly sheep).