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The role of bioenergy and biochemicals in CO2 mitigation through the energy system - a scenario analysis for the Netherlands

Authors
Tsiropoulos, Ioannis
Hoefnagels, Ric
van den Broek, Machteld
Faaij, Andre P. C.
Published in Global Change Biology Bioenergy. 2017, vol. 9, no. 9, p. 1489-1509
Abstract Bioenergy as well as bioenergy with carbon capture and storage are key options to embark on cost-efficient trajectories that realize climate targets. Most studies have not yet assessed the influence on these trajectories of emerging bioeconomy sectors such as biochemicals and renewable jet fuels (RJFs). To support a systems transition, there is also need to demonstrate the impact on the energy system of technology development, biomass and fossil fuel prices. We aim to close this gap by assessing least-cost pathways to 2030 for a number of scenarios applied to the energy system of the Netherlands, using a cost-minimization model. The type and magnitude of biomass deployment are highly influenced by technology development, fossil fuel prices and ambitions to mitigate climate change. Across all scenarios, biomass consumption ranges between 180 and 760 PJ and national emissions between 82 and 178 Mt CO2. High technology development leads to additional 100–270 PJ of biomass consumption and 8–20 Mt CO2 emission reduction compared to low technology development counterparts. In high technology development scenarios, additional emission reduction is primarily achieved by bioenergy and carbon capture and storage. Traditional sectors, namely industrial biomass heat and biofuels, supply 61–87% of bioenergy, while wind turbines are the main supplier of renewable electricity. Low technology pathways show lower biochemical output by 50–75%, do not supply RJFs and do not utilize additional biomass compared to high technology development. In most scenarios the emission reduction targets for the Netherlands are not met, as additional reduction of 10–45 Mt CO2 is needed. Stronger climate policy is required, especially in view of fluctuating fossil fuel prices, which are shown to be a key determinant of bioeconomy development. Nonetheless, high technology development is a no-regrets option to realize deep emission reduction as it also ensures stable growth for the bioeconomy even under unfavourable conditions.
Keywords BioeconomyCO2 mitigationCost-minimizationEmerging sectorsScenario analysis
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Research group Energy efficiency
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TSIROPOULOS, Ioannis et al. The role of bioenergy and biochemicals in CO2 mitigation through the energy system - a scenario analysis for the Netherlands. In: Global Change Biology Bioenergy, 2017, vol. 9, n° 9, p. 1489-1509. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:103049

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Deposited on : 2018-03-20

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