Bioenergy expansion in the EU: Cost-effective climate change mitigation, employment creation and reduced dependency on imported fuels
Journal article, 2007
Presently, the European Union (EU) is promoting bioenergy. The aim of this paper is to study the prospects for using domestic biomass resources in Europe and specifically to investigate whether different policy objectives underlying the promotion of bioenergy (cost-effective climate change mitigation, employment creation and reduced dependency on imported fuels) agree on which bioenergy options that should be used. We model bioenergy use from a cost-effectiveness perspective with a linear regionalized energy- and
transport-system model and perform supplementary analysis. It is found that the different policy objectives do not agree on the order of priority among bioenergy options. Maximizing climate benefits cost-effectively is in conflict with maximizing employment creation. The former perspective proposes the use of lignocellulosic biomass in the stationary sector, while the latter requires biofuels for transport based on traditional agricultural crops. Further, from a security-of-supply perspective, the appeal of a given bioenergy option depends on how oil and gas import dependencies are weighed relative to each other. Consequently, there are tradeoffs that need to be addressed by policymakers promoting the use of bioenergy. Also, the importance of bioenergy in relation to employment creation and fuel import dependency reduction needs to be further addressed.