n the past decades, the production of biomass for energy in agriculture and forestry has increased in many parts of the world. For years to come, further increase in land use for bioenergy will be needed to meet the renewable energy ambitions of many countries, and to reduce fossil fuel use and associated GHG emissions.
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This review on research on life cycle carbon accounting examines the complexities in accounting for carbon emissions given the many different ways that wood is used. Recent objectives to increase the use of renewable fuels have raised policy questions, with respect to the sustainability of managing our forests as well as the impacts of how best to use wood from our forests. There has been general support for the benefits of sustainably managing forests for carbon mitigation as expressed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007.
We quantify the emergence of biofuel markets and its impact on U.S. and world agriculture for the coming decade using the multi-market, multi-commodity international FAPRI (Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute) model. The model incorporates the trade-offs between biofuel, feed, and food production and consumption and international feedback effects of the emergence through world commodity prices and trade.
A working paper review of current approaches to accounting for indirect land-use changes in green house gas balances of biofuels. This report reviews the current effort made worldwide to address this issue. A
description of land-use concepts is first provided (Section 2) followed by a classification of
ILUC sources (Section 3). Then, a discussion on the implications of including ILUC
emissions in the GHG balance of biofuel pathways (Section 4) and a review of methodologies
being developed to quantify indirect land-use change (Section 5) are presented. Section 6
In this paper we investigate the potential production and implications of a global biofuels industry. We develop alternative approaches to the introduction of land as an economic factor input, in value and physical terms, into a computable general equilibrium framework. Both approach allows us to parameterize biomass production in a manner consistent with agro-engineering information on yields and a ?second generation? cellulosic biomass conversion technology.
The preceding two chapters of this volume have discussed physical and economic data bases for global agriculture and forestry, respectively. These form the foundation for the integrated, global land use data base discussed in this chapter. However, in order to utilize these data for global CGE analysis, it is first necessary to integrate them into a global, general equilibrium data base. This integration is the subject of the present chapter
This paper describes the GTAP land use data base designed to support integrated assessments of the potential for greenhouse gas mitigation. It disaggregates land use by agro-ecological zone (AEZ). To do so, it draws upon global land cover data bases, as well as state-of-the-art definition of AEZs from the FAO and IIASA. Agro-ecological zoning segments a parcel of land into smaller units according to agro-ecological characteristics, including: precipitation, temperature, soil type, terrain conditions, etc. Each zone has a similar combination of constraints and potential for land use.
Fertilizers used to increase the yield of crops used for food or bio-based products can migrate through the environment and potentially cause adverse environmental impacts. Nitrogen fertilizers have a complex biogeochemical cycle. Through their transformations and partitioning among environmental compartments, they can contribute to eutrophication of surface waters at local and regional scales, groundwater degradation, acid rain, and climate change.
The paper describes the on-going project of the GTAP land use data base. We also present the GTAPE-AEZ model, which illustrates how land use and land-based emissions can be incorporated in the CGE framework for Integrated Assessment (IA) of climate change policies. We follow the FAO fashion of agro-ecological zoning (FAO, 2000; Fischer et al, 2002) to identify lands located in six zones. Lands located in a specific AEZ have similar (or homogenous) soil, landform and climatic characteristics.
A series of life cycle assessments (LCA) have been conducted on biomass, coal, and natural gas systems in order to quantify the environmental benefits and drawbacks of each. The power generation options that were studied are: (1) a biomass-fired integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) system using a biomass energy crop, (2) a direct-fired biomass power plant using biomass residue, (3) a pulverized coal (PC) boiler representing an average U.S. coal-fired power plant, (4) a system cofiring biomass residue with coal, and (5) a natural gas combined cycle power plant.
An analysis was performed at NREL to examine the global warming potential and energy balance of power generation from fossil and biomass systems including CO2 sequestration. To get the true environmental picture, a life cycle approach, which takes into account upstream process steps, was applied. Each system maintained the same constant generating capacity and any lost capacity due to CO2 sequestration was accounted for by adding power generation from a natural gas combined-cycle system. This paper discusses the systems examined and gives the net energy and GWP for each system.
The generation of electricity, and the consumption of energy in general, often result in adverse effects on the environment. Coal-fired power plants generate over half of the electricity used in the U.S., and therefore play a significant role in any discussion of energy and the environment. By cofiring biomass, currently-operating coal plants have an opportunity to reduce the impact they have, but to what degree, and with what trade-offs? A life cycle assessment (LCA) has been conducted on a coal-fired power system that cofires wood residue.
It is technically feasible to capture CO2 from the flue gas of a coal-fired power plant and various researchers are working to understand the fate of sequestered CO2 and its long term environmental effects. Sequestering CO2 significantly reduces the CO2 emissions from the power plant itself, but this is not the total picture.
This report discusses the development of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions estimates for the production of Fischer-Tropsch (FT) derived fuels (in particular, FT diesel), makes comparisons of these estimates to reported literature values for petroleum-derived diesel, and outlines strategies for substantially reducing these emissions.
Coal has the largest share of utility power generation in the U.S., accounting for approximately 56% of all utility-produced electricity (U.S. DOE, 1998). Therefore, understanding the environmental implications of producing electricity from coal is an important component of any plan to reduce total emissions and resource consumption.
It has become widely accepted that biomass power offers opportunities for reduced environmental impacts compared to fossil fuel-based systems. Intuitively obvious are the facts that per kilowatt-hour of energy produced, biomass systems will emit less CO2 and consume less non-renewable energy.
A life cycle assessment (LCA) of different coal-fired boiler systems was performed at NREL in collaboration with the Federal Energy Technology Center. Three designs were examined to evaluate the environmental aspects of current and future coal systems.
Biodiesel is a renewable diesel fuel substitute. It can be made from a variety of natural oils and fats. Biodiesel is made by chemically combining any natural oil or fat with an alcohol such as methanol or ethanol. Methanol has been the most commonly used alcohol in the commercial production of biodiesel. In Europe, biodiesel is widely available in both its neat form (100% biodiesel, also know as B100) and in blends with petroleum diesel. European biodiesel is made predominantly from rapeseed oil (a cousin of canola oil).
Biodiesel is a renewable diesel fuel substitute that can be made by chemically combining any natural oil or fat with an alcohol such as methanol or ethanol. Methanol has been the most commonly used alcohol in the commercial production of biodiesel. In Europe, biodiesel is widely available in both its neat form (100% biodiesel, also known as B100) and in blends with petroleum diesel. Most European biodiesel is made from rapeseed oil (a cousin of canola oil).
A life cycle assessment (LCA) on coal-fired power systems has been conducted to assess the environmental effects on a cradle-to-grave basis. Three different designs were studied: (1) a plant that represents the average emissions from coal-fired power plants in the U.S. today, (2) a plant that meets the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS), and (3) an advanced plant incorporating a low emission boiler system (LEBS).