WEO Week: Sectoral transitions to new energy industries
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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 Sustainable Development Scenario, 2000-2030

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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 by an average 0.3% annually during 2000-18, while paper and paperboard output increased 1.4% annually. In the SDS, energy use declines 0.6% per year to 2030 but annual paper and paperboard production expands 1.2%. 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.