Short-Term Bioenergy Solutions for Meeting the Two Degree Celsius Scenario (2DS)
by Michael Eggleston* (Advanced BiofuelsUSA) Highlighting how policy makers, investors and scientists can jointly work together to transform the global energy system, the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) 2017 Technology Roadmap for Delivering Sustainable Bioenergy investigates a considerable strategy to increase modern bioenergy use within the heat, electric and transport sectors.
In order to accelerate a clear energy transition, the IEA declared that bioenergy will continue to play an important role in meeting expectations of the Paris Climate Accord’s Two Degree Celsius Scenario (2DS), projecting its contribution to meet a third of final energy consumption by 2060. However, in order to stay on track in meeting the 2DS, the IEA estimates biofuel’s contribution in the transportation sector must triple by 2030.
Adam Brown, one of the contributing authors, responded by stating that expanding the contribution of bioenergy will only make sense if produced and used sustainability. This means that advanced biofuels will need to massively scale-up, he elaborated.
The IEA proposes eight solutions, based off of factors such as technical maturity, market availability, clear greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and global applicability that are recommended to be scaled up in the short term in order to meet the 2DS.
Bioenergy solutions for 2025:
- Bio-methane from waste and residues for use as a transport fuel
- Conversion of existing fossil fuel infrastructure for bioenergy use
- Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil (HVO)/Hydro-processed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA) from waste and residues for use in heavy-duty road freight and aviation
- Energy recovery from municipal waste solutions
- Higher ethanol blends and unblended ethanol in road transport
- Maximizing the efficiency of sugar cane residue co-generation in the sugar and ethanol industry
- Bioenergy-based district heating networks in urban areas
- Medium-scale biomass heating systems in commercial and public buildings
It is the roadmap’s hope that these recommendations will foster the next wave of bioenergy technology leading up to medium and long-term GHG reduction targets across the energy sector. For example, Pharoah Le Feuvre, another contributing author, commented that higher ethanol blends in the transport sector will enable cellulosic ethanol integration by facilitating market entry.
In regards to applicable policies, Le Feuvre recommended that carbon intensity standards such as California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) should be applied on a technology neutral basis which will create a demand for fuels that provide the most GHG reductions relative to cost. He also mentioned that loan guarantees and long-term policy frameworks will promote the mobilization of investors de-risking the high-level financial scale.
In order to deliver the roadmap vision for bioenergy development, traditional markets, such as those found in the United States and Brazil, must expand geographically where there is a rising demand of energy and supportive policy such as those in Asia, proposed Le Feuvre. It was also stated that bioenergy must be integrated into industries that are in need of help to defossilize, such as aviation and marine transport.
Hosted in collaboration with the Canadian Institute of Forestry, the IEA Technology Collaboration Program’s webinar on their latest roadmap to sustainably deliver bioenergy may be accessed here. A fully copy of their roadmap can be found here. Since 2009 the IEA has produced over 20 technology roadmaps highlighting the defossilization of the energy sector. These reports are available to download here.
Adam Brown, Technical Coordinator for the IEA Bioenergy Technology Cooperation Program, is an expert on renewable energy who has about 38 years of experience in government, international industries and renewable energy technology and policy analysis.
Joining IEA in 2015, Pharoah Le Feuvre has a background working in renewable energy field with local governments, energy consultancies and undertaking management of renewable power and heat subsidy schemes in the United Kingdom. His particular experience is in the analysis of bioenergy in the energy sector. Bioenergy Roadmap_webinar 21_02_18 Listen to webinar
* Michael Eggleston is an aspiring policymaker studying interdisciplinary & intercultural communication with the University of Rhode Island’s International Engineering Program. He is spending a semester abroad at the Technische Universität Darmstadt in Darmstadt, Germany and will be reporting on and representing Advanced Biofuels USA at international conferences surrounding Europe’s energy transition.