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Evaluation of sustainability schemes for international bioenergy flows

Evaluation of sustainability schemes for international bioenergy flows Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to outline a comprehensive picture of the coverage of various certification schemes and sustainability principles relating to the entire value‐added chain of biomass and bioenergy and comparing them accordingly. Design/methodology/approach – A tri‐dimensional approach (sustainability issues; technical biomass conversion routes; physical trade flows) was developed for testing the coverage of various sustainability dimensions in different phases of the value‐added chain with the chosen certification schemes and sustainability principles. Findings – Using the tri‐dimensional approach, a comparison of the chosen schemes and principles demonstrated that the application of existing schemes and the development of new ones have placed a major emphasis on the primary production of biomass. Economic and social dimensions related to biofuels and bioenergy processing and trade were either emphasised less or they were covered inadequately. In view of this, the schemes sometimes seem to ignore that the utilisation of renewable energy as such guarantee no positive or neutral climate impact and may not be economically sustainable, especially when bioenergy can often be more expensive than energy generated from fossil energy sources. Originality/value – The analysis showed that the tri‐dimensional model is an applicable framework that could facilitate policy makers to formulate policies that comprehensively take into consideration the various sustainability dimensions throughout the entire value‐added chain, now and in the future. It can be applied to the future outlining and completion of certification schemes and sustainability principles for biomass and bioenergy, as well as in the testing of their applicability in the implementation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Energy Sector Management Emerald Publishing

Evaluation of sustainability schemes for international bioenergy flows

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1750-6220
DOI
10.1108/17506220911005740
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to outline a comprehensive picture of the coverage of various certification schemes and sustainability principles relating to the entire value‐added chain of biomass and bioenergy and comparing them accordingly. Design/methodology/approach – A tri‐dimensional approach (sustainability issues; technical biomass conversion routes; physical trade flows) was developed for testing the coverage of various sustainability dimensions in different phases of the value‐added chain with the chosen certification schemes and sustainability principles. Findings – Using the tri‐dimensional approach, a comparison of the chosen schemes and principles demonstrated that the application of existing schemes and the development of new ones have placed a major emphasis on the primary production of biomass. Economic and social dimensions related to biofuels and bioenergy processing and trade were either emphasised less or they were covered inadequately. In view of this, the schemes sometimes seem to ignore that the utilisation of renewable energy as such guarantee no positive or neutral climate impact and may not be economically sustainable, especially when bioenergy can often be more expensive than energy generated from fossil energy sources. Originality/value – The analysis showed that the tri‐dimensional model is an applicable framework that could facilitate policy makers to formulate policies that comprehensively take into consideration the various sustainability dimensions throughout the entire value‐added chain, now and in the future. It can be applied to the future outlining and completion of certification schemes and sustainability principles for biomass and bioenergy, as well as in the testing of their applicability in the implementation.

Journal

International Journal of Energy Sector ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 20, 2009

Keywords: Renewable energy; Forestry; Sustainable development

References