Most of the international Institutions agree that bioenergy is a fundamental tool to mitigate the effects of climate change. Bioenergy accounts for three-quarters of all renewable energy use today and according to global assessments it will cover half of the most cost-effective options for doubling renewable energy use by 2030. Nevertheless, a lively debate has been going on for years in the scientific and political communities, about the greenhouse gas emission balance of different bioenergy systems and their effectiveness in reducing climate change. An example of this is the recent back and forth between Chatham House and IEA Bioenergy about woody biomass for power and heat, that appeared in the news and social media this month. Last February Chatham House released a report stating that current biomass policy frameworks require substantial changes to ensure they contribute to mitigating climate change rather than exacerbating it. A few days later IEA Bioenergy published a response signed by 125 academics saying that the report is misleading and urged Chatham House to reconsider its flawed policy recommendations (the list of signatories has been reopened a few days ago and can be signed here).
For those of you who want to know more about the many aspects of bioenergy and climate change and how the scientific community is addressing this issue, here is a list of scientific works by independent researchers that will be presented this June in Stockholm at the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EUBCE).
Check out these short summaries and find out more details at the links below.
Negative carbon emissions from perennial biomass crops
Some perennial grasses such as Miscanthus can sequester atmospheric carbon into the soil. Some studies suggest that these biomass crops have a negative carbon budget. This presentation will describe the changes in soil carbon and organic matter content in field trials of Miscanthus, that have been harvested annually for up to 20 years.
The bioeconomy for CO2 mitigation in the energy system
This presentation will provide insights in the potential role of renewable energy, bioenergy, CCS and biobased chemicals, to reduce CO2 emission in the Dutch energy system by 2030, using carbon tax as the only instrument beyond 2020.
Can Lignocellulosic Biomass Reconcile Agricultural Productivity, the bioeconomy and Climate Change Mitigation in the EU?
This presentation will discuss the role of lignocellulosic biomass as a sustainable biomass feedstock in the bioeconomy and its potential conflicts with food and feed in terms of land use and potential ILUC effects.
The effects of bioenergy on climate from a landscape perspective
This presentation will show the results of a time-dependent life cycle assessment which was used to capture temporal fluxes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from a bioenergy CHP system in Sweden. Result showed that bioenergy from short and long rotation forestry has climate change mitigating effects compared to fossil fuels.
Greenhouse gas balance of second generation bioenergy crops
Over the last 10 years, an extensive body of research has been conducted to reduce the uncertainty over the GHG balance of second generation bioenergy crops. This presentation will discuss changes in nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and soil carbon stocks from these crops in a life-cycle context, as a consequence of land-use change.
Carbon emissions and the effects on climate change of bioenergy from waste wood
This speech will present the results of an LCA study on the use of different treated waste wood grades for energy. Results showed that emissions reduction of up to 76%, compared to fossil fuels is possible although with large variations depending on the type of waste wood, application and scale.
Converting and reverting: soil carbon stocks with and without bioenergy crops
This presentation will discuss the full life cycle impacts of perennial bioenergy crops on soil carbon stocks looking both at the impacts of the converting land to perennial bioenergy crops and the impacts of reversion of land back to conventional agriculture.
Hydrochars use in agriculture for carbon storage
Little is known about the potential contribution to climate change mitigation of hydrochars, the new biomaterials derived from organic waste when used as soil amendments in agriculture. This speech will present results a life cycle assessment (LCA) combined with recent climate metrics to quantify the contribution to climate change mitigation of different hydrocarbons used for agriculture.
The effect of climate change on the structure and productivity of Mediterranean forests
This speech will show the results of a study on the impact of the global warming on the Net Primary Productivity and the vegetation structure of Mediterranean forests in France towards 2050. Results show that Mediterranean forest may be vulnerable to the increase of temperatures that may affect the mortality of the trees and shrubs. In some parts of the Alpes-Maritimes these changes may affect the biomass production.
Full title: Anticipating Climate Change Effect on Biomass Productivity and Vegetation Structure of Mediterranean Forests to Promote the Sustainability of the Wood Energy Supply Chain – Emmanuel GARBOLINO
EUBCE is the most important international conference for the biomass sector, combined with a technology exhibition. For more than 30 years, it has been serving as the annual meeting point for biomass experts from research, development and the industry. With presentations addressing the latest technologies, the policy framework, and the medium and long-term strategies and potentials, EUBCE is the interface between science, industry and policy makers.
The quality of the EUBCE programme is ensured by the Scientific and Industry Committee comprising 140 international biomass experts. The EUBCE Conference programme is coordinated by the European Commission Joint Research Centre.
The upcoming EUBCE will take place from 12 – 15 June 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.