Development of new and improved biomass conversion technologies will be essential for widespread deployment and long-term success. Public and private funding needs to be devoted to researching, developing and deploying the following:
IEA Bioenergy – Strategic Direction
Biofuels and bioenergy can make an important contribution to current and future energy needs. The development and deployment strategy for bioenergy needs to be harness the industry’s strengths and opportunities and reduce its weaknesses while being cognizant of threats.
Some of the anticipated Requirements for Success are:
1. Current bioenergy routes that generate heat and electricity from the sustainable use of residues and wastes should be strongly stimulated.
These rely on commercial technologies, lead to a better use of raw materials through the reduction of residues and wastes, and result in clear GHG savings and possibly other emissions reductions, compared to fossil fuels. The development of infrastructure and logistics, quality standards and trading platforms will be crucial to growth and may require policy support.
2. Further increasing the deployment of bioenergy, and in particular of biofuels for transport in the short term, should be pursued by:
- Paying specific attention to sustainability issues directly related to the biomass-to-energy production chain, and avoiding or mitigating negative impacts through the development and implementation of sustainability assurance schemes.
- Incentivizing biofuels based on their potential greenhouse gas benefits
- Considering potential impacts of biomass demand for energy applications on commodity markets and on indirect land use change.
- Defining growth rates that result in feedstock demands that the sector can sustainably cope with.
3. Development of new and improved biomass conversion technologies will be essential for widespread deployment and long-term success. Public and private funding needs to be devoted to researching, developing and deploying the following:
- For liquid biofuels – Advanced technologies that allow for a diverse feedstock base using non-food crops with fewer (direct and indirect) environmental, social risks and greater GHG emission reduction benefits
- For power and heat production – more efficient technologies – more efficient advanced technologies,
such as gasification and advanced steam cycles, and technologies with improved economics at smaller-scale to allow for more distributed use of biomass.
- Novel biomass upgrading technologies and multiproduct biorefineries which could contribute to the deployment and cost-competitiveness of bioenergy.