Competing Uses of Biomass and the Implications for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

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Studies highlight the potential importance of biomass as a low carbon source for different energy or material options. In order to understand the possibilities of biomass use for climate mitigation its key uncertainties and possible feedbacks on the energy system have to be assessed. We use a recursive dynamic energy system model (TIMER) in order to evaluate which biomass options are most competitive, how different uses lead to changes elsewhere in the energy system (i.e. due to leakage of fossil fuels), and what the optimal use in order to reduce emissions. Furthermore, we investigate how these results may be affected with increasing climate policy (carbon tax). In the baseline approximately 18% of total secondary energy demand is projected to be supplied by bioenergy, used primarily in transport, buildings and chemicals. At high carbon taxes, bioenergy becomes more competitive for electricity generation. We find that electricity generation is the most effective option for biomass (especially at high carbon taxes due to the increased application of carbon capture and storage) however its use there is limited due to the competition for biofuels in the transport sector.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 23rd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventEUBCE 2015: 23rd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition - Vienna, Austria
Duration: 1 Jun 20154 Jun 2015


ConferenceEUBCE 2015: 23rd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition


  • bioenergy
  • demand
  • emissions
  • modelling
  • scenario analysis
  • competitiveness
  • marginal effects


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