By Nick Gilbert
In a research study, scientists are utilizing an integrated modeling framework to study a biodiesel scenario based on forest biomass.
Throughout the EU region, there is an increasing need for bioenergy and transportation biofuels and this demand occurs as a result of renewable energy targets. For instance, in Finland the primary bioenergy source appears to be forest biomass and is believed to be a potential source for transportation biofuel production.
In order to calculate the possible effects of greenhouse gas, a framework has been employed to attain a national transport biofuel target, which is 10% versus 20% of overall consumption under the existing climate and energy policy standards.
Emissions from the energy system, the requirement for wood biomass, and the use of the energy system to policy targets are explained through the energy system model EPOLA. Using the EFISCEN forest model, the ensuing response of the Finnish forests to the rising demand for wood biomass is modeled.
On the whole, the study shows the significance of including market-mediated impacts on costs and emissions. Most of the modifications towards the biofuel target occur within the ETS sector, despite the fact that transportation biofuel target is believed to be set in the non-ETS sector. The requirement of wood in bio-refineries increases the cost of wood price and as a result this affects its competitive edge against fossil fuels. In fact, fossil fuels are expected to partly replace wood within the ETS sector. Additionally, biorefineries will raise the overall consumption of electricity and consequently fossil fuel CO2 emissions in Finland would increase.
Overall emissions that also comprise the forest carbon balance and the non-ETS sector are somewhat lesser in the biodiesel scenarios when compared to the baselines. Emission reduction occurs instantly in the non-ETS sector, whereas carbon sink reduction in the Finnish forests seems to be gradual.
To sum up, biodiesel is not a cost-effective solution to achieve renewable targets, and this is largely because of the inefficiency on the part of the biodiesel chain to replace fossil diesel emissions.