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Pulp & paper

Biomass materials are the main feedstock to the pulp and paper industry. Over the last almost two-decades the sector has experienced a decoupling of energy use from production thanks to energy efficiency improvements and process integration measures.

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Key findings

Final energy demand in pulp and paper in the Net Zero Scenario, 2010-2030

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Reducing energy use by the pulp and paper industry will require greater recycling and waste heat recovery

Final energy use in pulp and paper grew an average 0.1% annually during 2010-2019, while paper and paperboard output increased 0.3% per year, demonstrating a decoupling of growth in energy consumption from growth in production. In the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, energy use increases 0.5% per year to 2030 while annual paper and paperboard production expands 1.5%. This situation will necessitate greater recycling, as recycled production requires considerably less energy. Using a higher share of bioenergy and adopting waste heat recovery technologies will also be important to align with the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 trajectory.