Global warming potential impact of bioenergy systems

Davide Tonini, L. Hamelin, H. Wenzel, Thomas Astrup

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


Reducing dependence on fossil fuels and mitigation of GHG emissions is a main focus in the energy strategy of many Countries. In the case of Demark, for instance, the long-term target of the energy policy is to reach 100% renewable energy system. This can be achieved by drastic reduction of the energy demand, optimization of production/distribution and substitution of fossil fuels with biomasses. However, a large increase in biomass consumption will finally induce conversion of arable and currently cultivated land into fields dedicated to energy crops production determining significant environmental consequences related to land use changes. In this study the global warming potential impact associated with six alternative bioenergy systems based on willow and Miscanthus was assessed by means of life-cycle assessment. The results showed that bioenergy production may generate higher global warming impacts than the reference fossil fuel system, when the impacts from indirect land use changes are accounted for. In a life-cycle perspective, only highly-efficient co-firing with fossil fuel achieved a (modest) GHG emission reduction.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2012
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Event2nd European Energy Conference (E2C 2012) - Maastricht, Netherlands
Duration: 17 Apr 201220 Apr 2012
Conference number: 2


Conference2nd European Energy Conference (E2C 2012)
Internet address


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