Discourage or encourage the use of trees, waste, and agricultural crops to create energy. These sources (feedstocks) feedstock: Raw material used for an energy or industrial process. For bioenergy, these can be wood, waste, crops, algae, etc. produce energy when burned as solids (e.g., wood), liquids (e.g., ethanol), or gas (e.g., methane from decomposition). Some feedstocks can be sustainable and others can be worse than burning coal. Carbon capture and storage technology could be used with bioenergy (BECCS), but is not yet used widely and faces barriers to deployment.
Government policies that phase out the investment in new bioenergy infrastructure or make it more expensive, such as taxes on bioenergy feedstocks.
Public information campaigns that criticize sources of bioenergy that are not sustainable and raise public concerns about the downsides of bioenergy.
Government incentives and/or targets to convert land into growing feedstocks that provide the plant material and biomass needed to produce bioenergy.
Research, development, and investment into new technologies that can produce new forms of biofuels, and vehicles and industry that can use or support these biofuels.
Government policies that exempt bioenergy, regardless of feedstock, from greenhouse gas accounting frameworks designed to limit emissions.
- Bioenergy is not a high leverage response to climate change – while it uses a potentially renewable resource, it still emits large amounts of carbon dioxide and faces supply constraints with scale up.
As bioenergy is subsidized or taxed, notice that the temperature changes very little and bioenergy's contribution to the mix of global sources of primary energy does not change much. The main constraint on bioenergy is the amount of biomass that is available each year to be turned into energy. This limitation means that there are only small changes to other energy sources, if bioenergy is subsidized.
Bioenergy is only zero-carbon if the biomass is regrown to account for the carbon emitted. This is not guaranteed, and in some areas, bioenergy is produced from trees, which take decades to regrow to make up for the carbon released when burned.
Bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS BECCS: Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage. An experimental method of energy generation and technological carbon dioxide removal. BECCS entails burning biomass for energy, capturing the CO2 emissions, storing the emissions long-term, and successfully re-growing any used biomass to result in a process that stores more carbon than it releases. BECCS relies on the success of emerging technologies and availability of sustainable sources of biomass.) is proposed as a way to remove additional carbon from the atmosphere. For this to benefit the climate, the biomass used would need to be fully regrown and the emissions captured when the biomass is burned to produce energy. This has yet to be proven feasible at large scales.
Potential Co-Benefits of Discouraging Bioenergy🔗
- Crops and arable land are freed for other uses, such as food production, when bioenergy is discouraged.
- Leaving sources of biomass biomass: Organic (carbon-based) material that comes from living organisms such as plants and can be used as fuel. Examples include wood, corn, or crop residues such as the stalks left after harvesting. intact, like forests, enables biodiversity to be preserved.
- A reduction in biomass burning can improve indoor and outdoor air quality from reduced soot and particulates.
- Bioenergy can accelerate deforestation deforestation: The clearing of trees, transforming a forest into cleared land, often through burning and removing forests to make land available for crops like soybeans, corn, or palm oil. and mature forest degradation mature forest degradation: The harvesting of older forests for wood bioenergy or other forest products. Although the trees may not be permanently or completely lost, this disturbs the forest, releasing part of the carbon locked in the trees and soils, and reducing its capacity to remove additional carbon. through dependence on wood for fuels or through the expansion of bioenergy crops, particularly in the tropics. Less deforestation has many benefits including additional carbon sequestration.
- Land used for bioenergy crops can reduce land availability for food production and compromise food security.
- Farmer livelihoods can be severely impacted by shifting agriculture markets, so steps should be taken to help workers and farmers transition to shifting crop demands.
The Bioenergy slider is divided into 5 input levels: highly taxed, taxed, status quo, subsidized, and highly subsidized. Each of the energy supply sliders (Coal, Oil, Natural Gas, Bioenergy, Nuclear, and Renewables) is set to reflect a similar percentage cost increase or decrease for each input level. The following table displays the numerical ranges for each input level of the Bioenergy slider:
|highly taxed||taxed||status quo||subsidized||highly subsidized|
|Change in price per barrel of oil equivalent (boe)||+$25 to +$15||+$15 to +$5||+$5 to -$5||-$5 to -$15||-$15 to -$25|
|Cost increase or decrease||+60% to +30%||+30% to +10%||+10% to -10%||-10% to -30%||-30% to -60%|
- Bioenergy sources, known as “feedstocks,” are categorized into wood, crops, and waste/other. These feedstocks can be separately subsidized or taxed. Wood feedstocks result in net CO2 emissions due to the delays in regrowing trees, while the other types of feedstocks do not result in net CO2 emissions due to their faster regeneration times (e.g., bioenergy crops are regrown within a year).
- Subsidizing bioenergy drives more deforestation and forest degradation due to harvesting of wood as feedstock or clearing land to grow crops for bioenergy.
- This sector tracks several stages of bioenergy installations, or energy supply capacity including: capacity under development, under construction, and actually producing energy, as well as the delays between each stage.
FAQs and Other Resources🔗
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