Towards Sustainable Bioenergy - Governance, Resource potentials and Trade-offs
Licentiate thesis, 2014
The global energy system needs to be transformed from fossil dependent to renewable, to cope with the challenges of resource scarcity and climate change. Bioenergy can play an important role in this transformation, but land is scarce, and uncontrolled bioenergy expansion could have unacceptable consequences. This thesis contributes to the understanding of (i) how bioenergy governance can be improved to better safeguard sustainability; and (ii) the extent to which biomass can be used for energy, focusing on the potential for biodiesel from Brazilian oil palm.
In Paper I, we present sustainability criteria that may affect a range of stakeholders involved with short rotation coppice (SRC) bioenergy, and attempt to outline a framework for engaging relevant stakeholders in the development of sustainable SRC. In Paper II, we present an assessment of how biodiversity is considered in different types of sustainability standards. We discuss key barriers to, and challenges for, certification schemes in general, and conclude that all the assessed standards can, to a varying degree, be improved to better consider biodiversity. In Paper III, we analyse the economic potential of producing oil palm for biodiesel in Brazil in different policy scenarios, as well as the corresponding trade-offs with various conservation objectives. The results unveil a very large economic potential: Without causing any direct land use change emissions and without inflicting on high conservation value areas, a total of 71-89 Mha land could support production of 6.9-7.8 EJ/year of biodiesel, corresponding to 13-15% of the global petrodiesel demand.