Applying resource efficiency principles to the analysis of EU-27 bioenergy options by 2020 - Findings from a recent study for the European Environment Agency

J.E. Petersen*, B. Elbersen, U.R. Fritsche

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Renewable Energy Directive sets a target for the European Union (EU) to consume 20% of its final energy from renewable sources by 2020 and further targets are under discussion. EU renewable energy targets will lead to a substantial increase in the demand for bioenergy. As for other sectors, it is important, therefore, to apply the principles of the EU Resource efficiency roadmap to bioenergy production: producing more output with less material input and minimising adverse environmental impacts during the entire production life cycle. This paper uses that concept to analyse the most resource efficient ways for reaching the 2020 bioenergy targets (as set out in National Renewable Energy Action Plans).Scenario analysis with three different storylines is used to model environmental and land use implications plus total bioenergy potential and GHG reductions in 2020 from the agricultural, forest, and waste sectors. These storylines vary in environmental ambition level and economic and political assumptions and explore plausible bioenergy development paths. They show substantial variance in terms of environmental impact and the GHG efficiency between different bioenergy pathways.The modelling shows that under Storyline 1 bioenergy targets of the National Renewable Energy Action Plans would be achieved with CO2eq emissions of 44kgGJ-1, i.e. 62% less GHG emission than if the energy were generated using fossil fuels. In contrast, stricter environmental constraints in Storyline 3 lead to a substantially lower CO2eq burden of 25kgGJ-1, which represents an 80% reduction compared to fossil fuels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-182
Number of pages13
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
Volume65
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • EU bioenergy policy
  • EU bioenergy potential
  • GHG emissions
  • Land use
  • Modelling
  • Resource efficiency

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