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BIOENERGY FOR EUROPE: WHICH ONES FIT BEST?

BIOENERGY FOR EUROPE: WHICH ONES FIT BEST?

104 7 Annex Technical

104 7 Annex Technical applications: heat production – Austria Use of fossil fuels Greenhouse effect Acidification Eutrophication Summer smog Nitrous oxide Human toxicity How to interpret the diagram Advantages for biofuel -1500 -1000 -500 0 500 1000 Austrian inhabitant equivalents per 100 TJ Advantages for fossil fuel Traditional firewood Straw The figure shows the results of comparisons between complete life cycles where light oil is substituted by traditional firewood respectively wheat straw for heat. The unit refers to an amount of 100 TJ heat. This is equivalent to the average head requirement of about 2,900 inhabitants in Austria in one year. Concerning the parameters "use of fossil fuel" and "greenhouse effect" the two biofuels are very similar. The biggest difference is in the parameter "nitrous oxide". The amount of fossil fuel saved is in both cases equal to the amount which about 950 Austrian citizens would on average consume in one year (this is what is meant by "Austrian inhabitant equivalent"). Conclusions The Austrian demand in primary energy amounted to 1,234 PJ in 1994, 238 PJ were used for the heating of rooms. The share of bioenergy used to cover the demand in primary energy amounted to 138 PJ or 11.2 %. The doubling of the share of bioenergy which is demanded in the White Paper of the Commission seems to be unfeasible in Austria under current framework conditions. An increase by 85 PJ seems to be feasible if considerable effort is made; the most important increase will be achieved with wood (+35 PJ), straw (+15 PJ) and triticale (+25 PJ). If we substitute 10 PJ heating oil with firewood we can save 0.75 Mt CO2 with an insignificant change in the categories acidification, eutrophication, summer smog and nitrous oxide (-0.24 kt SO2, +0.6 kt NO3, -0.01 kt ethylene eq. and –0.01 kt N2O). If we substitute the same amount with straw results are similar (-0.7 Mt CO2, + 0.3 kt SO2, +0.5 kt NO3, + 0.06 kt ethylene eq. and + 0.08 kt N2O). Wood and straw can contribute considerably to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the effects on the other impact categories are low.

7.1 Country specific life cycle comparisons 105 Ecological aspects I: land use efficiency – Austria Use of fossil fuels Greenhouse effect Acidification Eutrophication Summer smog Nitrous oxide Human toxicity How to interpret the diagram Advantages for biofuel Advantages for fossil fuel RME Triticale -300 -200 -100 0 100 200 300 400 1000-Austrian inhabitant equivalents per 100,000 ha The figure shows the results of complete life cycle comparisons where RME and triticale are used for energy production instead of their respective fossil counterparts. The results are given for an area of 100,000 ha being cultivated with the respective crop. In this case for example the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that is being saved when 100,000 ha of triticale are cultivated and used to substitute hard coal for electricity production is equal to the amount which about 261,000 Austrian citizens would on average generate in one year (this is what is meant with "Austrian inhabitant equivalents"). Conclusions It has to be assumed that the production will be competing with fallow land at the time of economic realisation. Rape seed and triticale can be cultivated on nearly the entire arable land in Austria (i.e. 1.4 million ha), the production of energy crops on 100,000 ha seems appropriate. Rape seed and triticale can contribute considerably to a reduced use of fossil energy and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the advantages concerning electricity generation being considerably higher (rape seed: - 6 PJ fossil fuel, - 0.3 Mt CO2; triticale: -19 PJ fossil fuel, -1.8 Mt CO2). Eutrophication increases substantially with electricity from triticale (triticale: +12 kt NO3 - , rape seed: –2.4 kt), with rape seed a significant increase in the emission of nitrous oxide is to be observed (rape seed: + 0.5 kt N2O, triticale: +0.2 kt). The further impact categories are only influenced to a minor extent by the substitution. It should be mentioned that a comparison of products with different use is difficult. Conclusions can only be drawn for a comparison of the environmental impacts of the cultivation on the mentioned area, but not for the appropriateness of a substitution. With the cultivation of rape seed on an area of 7 % of the arable land 2.6 % of the fuel demand (238 PJ in the year 1999) and a considerable share in the demand in protein-feed for animals can be covered. With electricity produced from triticale cultivated on the same area 3 % of the electricity demand (162 PJ in 1994) can be covered. Referring to the (low) thermal power production (37 PJ in 1994) the consumption of coal can be reduced by half.

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