Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Report on link to IEA work on bioenergy & climate change

This report reviews the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of biomass cogeneration technologies in comparison to fossil fuel energy systems. The basis of the work was IEA Task 25 �Greenhouse gas balances of biomass and bioenergy systems� and the �Global emission model of integrated systems� developed by Öko-Institut Darmstad from Denmark. IEA Task 25 was superseded by IEA Task 38.

This report deals with a key benefit of bioenergy systems, namely their very low level of greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional fossil fuel systems. The report presents the results of running the model for 34 bioenergy systems and 18 fossil energy systems in Austria. The model includes the full life cycle. The results are presented in readily comparable quantitative tables and graphics.

Overall, biomass fuelled CHP units emit 87-92% less greenhouse gas (CO2 equivalents) than fossil fuelled CHP units. If biomass is used to replace fossil fuel use, then greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced. Consideration of the whole life cycle and by-products gives some interesting results. For example, the use of animal manures for biogas-fuelled CHP avoids methane emissions so this is found to be a highly beneficial system in terms of net greenhouse gas emissions.

Presentation of these findings in this report is important for raising the knowledge that biomass CHP offers in respect of greenhouse gas mitigation, which is an increasingly important driver in Europe.

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