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Report, 2015

Development potential of inventions in forest biomass harvesting

Riala, Maria; Athanassiadis, Dimitris; Miranda La Hera, Pedro; Rodriguez, Judit


This report presents the results of a Delphi study, which explored the future potential of selected technologies in forest biomass harvesting. Delphi is an expert method of futures studies. It is based on the assumption that pooled expert opinion gives a more accurate view of the future than the views of individual experts. Our expert panel consisted of forestry researchers, engineering researchers, machine manufacturers and companies in the biomass harvesting chain. The experts were from all over Europe. The data includes 22 responses. The technologies from other fields that were seen as having the greatest potential in forest biomass harvesting were “Hybrid electric power system”, “Self‐operating machines”, and “Ultra‐low emission engines”. From technologies developed within forestry, “Automated loading of biomass harwarders”, “Open forest street map”, and “Machine vision” were thought to have the greatest likelihood of being in use by 2030. The inventions the experts most wanted to be adopted by 2030 were “Open forest street map” and “Machine vision”. There is significant overlap between the two categories. The open answers in the study revealed a number of barriers to adopting new technologies into forest biomass harvesting. Some of the barriers were cultural, other economic, while yet other were technical or questioned the benefits that could be gained from these inventions. Taking into account the barriers is important in development and implementation of new technologies, because if there is no market demand, it seems new technologies can fail.


Biomass harvesting; inventions; innovations; future; Delphi; commercial potential; barriers

Published in

Publisher: INFRES – Innovative and effective technology and logistics for forest residual biomass supply in the EU

Authors' information

Riala, Maria
Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology
Miranda La Hera, Pedro (La Hera, Pedro)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology
Rodriguez, Judit
Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia (CTFC)

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

URI (permanent link to this page)