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The Rise of the Drone: Using drones for biomass emissions tracing in Finland

11 Apr 2016

Bioenergy – a renewable energy derived from biomass – is playing a vital role in many geographical areas. Currently, it is estimated to provide around 10% of the world’s primary energy supply.
In accordance with a global trend, Finland is acknowledged for its long and successful history in bioenergy, especially in forest biomass-based solutions. The high performance in turn has been enabled by innovative technology and engineering solutions as well as strong supporting research sector.

It is no surprise the global bioenergy market is undergoing constant evolution. One of the primary growth drivers for the global bioenergy market is prevalent concern about energy shortage. Another factor adding to the changing perspective towards bioenergy market is its potential to open up new opportunities for the traditional agriculture and forestry sectors. While the advancement is encouraging, there are obvious hurdles this market needs to overcome to make it a convincing success story. For instance, the business environment is changing faster than ever, and new competences, operating models and networks are necessary to succeed in an increasingly complex energy sector. An example of a particular practical challenge is biomass storage. While it is a necessary step within the bioenergy value chains, which increases the value of biomass, it may also have negative effects such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide emissions. Over time, innumerable methods, associated with varied degree of effort, have being suggested to manage this nuisance.

Addressing this matter, Spinverse-managed program BEST, together with its 34 international partners from both industry and academia, has focused its mind on the exercise of employing unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) for an efficient emission detection. Nowadays, a wide range of industries is exploring the use of drones for various tasks ranging from scientific research, cargo transport, geological surveying to customer service, maintenance and even filmmaking. However, the use of drones for biomass storage emission control is relatively new and shall become more common as the technology develops.

Recently published BEST Result Footage brightly illustrates the process:

BEST (Sustainable Bioenergy Solutions for Tomorrow) is a Finnish research program managed by Spinverse and coordinated by CLIC Innovation. Running from 2013 to 2016, it is working to solve critical challenges in the bioenergy sector, and to answer the critical research and development needs of tomorrow.

Spinverse’s bioeconomy expert Kaisu Leppänen is acting as the program manager for BEST program.

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Kaisu Leppänen

Director, M.Sc. (Chem.) +358 44 288 4824

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