Meeting Sustainability Requirements for SRC Bioenergy: Usefulness of Existing Tools, Responsibilities of Involved Stakeholders, and Recommendations for Further Developments
Journal article, 2012
Short rotation coppice (SRC) is considered an important biomass supply option for meeting the European renewable energy targets. This paper presents an overview of existing and prospective sustainability requirements, Member State reporting obligations and parts of the methodology for calculating GHG emissions savings within the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED), and shows how these RED-associated sustainability criteria may affect different stakeholders along SRC bioenergy supply chains. Existing and prospective tools are assessed on their usefulness in ensuring that SRC bioenergy is produced with sufficient consideration given to the RED-associated criteria. A sustainability framework is outlined that aims at (1) facilitating the development of SRC production systems that are attractive from the perspectives of all stakeholders, and (2) ensuring that the SRC production is RED eligible. Producer manuals, EIAs, and voluntary certification schemes can all be useful for ensuring RED eligibility. However, they are currently not sufficiently comprehensive, neither individually nor combined, and suggestions for how they can be more complementary are given. Geographical information systems offer opportunities for administrative authorities to provide stakeholders with maps or databases over areas/fields suitable for RED-eligible SRC cultivation. However, proper consideration of all relevant aspects requires that all stakeholders in the SRC supply chain become engaged in the development of SRC production systems and that a landscape perspective is used.
Short rotation coppice