Bioenergy to improve energy sector sustainability
Bioenergy is part of a coherent approach across FTA that considers energy poverty, climate change, and food and nutritional security through diverse production systems involving forest landscapes. Bioenergy is key to improving the sustainability of the energy sector and achieving the Paris goals.
Many governments have renewable energy targets and the Paris goal of balancing sources and sinks requires a thorough understanding of the role bioenergy can play. Also, in many regions, biofuels are unsustainable, contribute to climate change and human health problems (e.g. open cooking fires, charcoal production), and face the problem of being considered ‘backwater technologies’ by national actors.
FTA analyzes climate benefits and disadvantages of bioenergy policies under current and plausible future scenarios. Developing countries can include renewable energy efficiency targets in nationally determined contributions (NDCs), making for an interesting investment arena.
|Current and planned key research activities on bioenergy are:|
|•||Status: Analysis of the current status of bioenergy types, including relative benefits, disadvantages and the extent of their utilization in different regions|
|•||Drivers: Analysis of international and national drivers of bioenergy development to understand how markets and standards (e.g. the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive) affect land allocation to bioenergy production|
|•||Genetic resources: Site-matched tree-planting material, with high bioenergy capacity|
|•||Marginal land use: Assessments of potential of bioenergy production on degraded land|
|•||Side effects: Analysis of the impact of bioenergy on social and environmental outcomes (e.g. health, poverty, migration, gender, biodiversity)|
|•||Economics: Studies of demand and supply, costs, social and environmental impacts, carbon footprints and synergies/tradeoffs with food production and variation by world region, feedstock type and scale of bioenergy production|
|•||Scenario development: Analysis of how bioenergy extraction links to landscape configuration, and assessment of how future energy developments may affect the role of biofuels, including new developments (e.g. lignocellulosic fuels)|