Role of bioenergy in mitigating climate change

A new influential report has outlined the future importance of bioenergy in meeting energy needs, and in the mitigation, and even reduction of greenhouse gases. Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change compiles scientific knowledge concerning the limitation of greenhouse gas emissions which are fuelling climate change.

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In the report bioenergy is noted as having the potential to play a critical role in the mitigation of emissions, so long as care is taken to ensure that practices are performed sustainable and efficiently. In particular, crops such as Miscanththus, fast slow growing trees, and sustainably used biomass residues can reduce greenhouse gases in certain sites.

The report also poses the prospect of using of bioenergy in combination with carbon dioxide capture and storage (BECCS). It is said that this technology, if developmental challenges are overcome, may offer a solution to reduce emissions from the atmosphere on a large scale.

DSC_0172In predicted future climate change scenarios, preventing atmospheric concentrations of CO2eq from exceeding 450ppm, and average temperature change below 2ºC, will require a three to four fold increase in the proportion of zero- and low-carbon energy supply by 2050.

The increased use and development of the bioenergy market may also have an impact on the economic ability to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. Models were unable to restrain CO2eq levels to below 450ppm by 2100 if either additional mitigation measures are delayed considerably or if there is an inadequate availability of technologies including bioenergy, and BECCS.

The report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the product of a collaboration of hundreds of scientists over four years, also tackles polices which aim to address emissions, and provide synopsis document Summary for Policymakers http://report.mitigation2014.org/spm/ipcc_wg3_ar5_summary-for-policymakers_approved.pdf

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About biopadblog

Developing a local bioenergy market can provide significant opportunities for rural and remote areas, by improving security of energy supply, contributing to a reduction in CO2 emissions and stimulating the local economy by creating jobs and keeping payments for energy within the local community. A new project, BioPAD (Bioenergy Proliferation and Deployment), which targets the Northern Periphery of Europe, aims to ensure that bioenergy becomes more widely used and that awareness of the opportunities it provides are increased. The project will help the development of bioenergy and improve our understanding of the links between supply and demand by looking at supply chains for a variety of bioenergy fuels and different ways of converting these fuels into sustainable energy. Understanding the supply chains and the ways bioenergy moves from fuel source to energy provision will help the establishment of robust and efficient supply services which can match local demand. BioPAD is led by the Western Development Commission www.wdc.ie (Ireland) and is funded under the ERDF Interreg IVB Northern Periphery Programme (NPP) http://www.northernperiphery.eu
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