Using biomass for climate change mitigation and oil use reduction

L. Gustavsson, J. Holmberg, V. Dornburg, R. Sathre, R. Eggers, K. Mahapatra, G. Marland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In this paper, we examine how an increased use of biomass could efficiently meet Swedish energy policy goals of reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and oil use. In particular, we examine the trade-offs inherent when biomass use is intended to pursue multiple objectives. We set up four scenarios in which up to 400 PJ/year of additional biomass is prioritised to reduce CO2 emissions, reduce oil use, simultaneously reduce both CO2 emission and oil use, or to produce ethanol to replace gasoline. Technologies analysed for using the biomass include the production of electricity, heat, and transport fuels, and also as construction materials and other products. We find that optimising biomass use for a single objective (either CO2 emission reduction or oil use reduction) results in high fulfilment of that single objective (17.4 Tg C/year and 350 PJ oil/year, respectively), at a monetary cost of 130–330 million €/year, but with low fulfilment of the other objective. A careful selection of biomass uses for combined benefits results in reductions of 12.6 Tg C/year and 230 PJ oil/year (72% and 67%, respectively, of the reductions achieved in the scenarios with single objectives), with a monetary benefit of 45 million €/year. Prioritising for ethanol production gives the lowest CO2 emissions reduction, intermediate oil use reduction, and the highest monetary cost.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)5671-5691
Number of pages21
JournalEnergy Policy
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Cite this