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BIOENERGY FOR EUROPE: WHICH ONES FIT BEST?

BIOENERGY FOR EUROPE: WHICH ONES FIT BEST?

108 7 Annex 7.1.2

108 7 Annex 7.1.2 Country specific results – Denmark In this chapter the results for the Danish energy chains are presented. These are: • Triticale versus coal for electricity production • Miscanthus versus heating oil and natural gas • Willow versus heating oil and natural gas • Wheat straw versus heating oil and natural gas • Biogas versus natural gas for electricity production • Rape seed oil methyl ester (RME) versus fossil diesel fuel In addition, the following biofuels are compared towards each other in order to assess which one is the most suitable in ecological terms for a specific objective. • Technical application • Heat production: Miscanthus, willow and straw • Ecological aspects • Efficiency of land use: willow, RME, triticale and Miscanthus • Saving of energy resources: triticale, Miscanthus, willow, straw, biogas, RME For more information on these comparisons the reader is referred to Chapter 2. As for the European chains, the life cycle comparisons were carried out with regard to specific environmental impact parameters. These were: • Use of fossil fuels • Greenhouse effect • Acidification • Eutrophication • Summer smog • Nitrous oxide • Human toxicity The criteria according to which these were selected as well as an explanation of their meanings can be found in the Chapters 3.3 and 3.4. For reasons of clarity of presentation, the results of minimum-maximum evaluations have not been presented in the result graphs. For more information on this the reader is referred to Chapter 4.1.3.

7.1 Country specific life cycle comparisons 109 Triticale versus hard coal for electricity production – Denmark 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 -8000 -6000 -4000 -2000 0 2000 4000 6000 8000 Danish inhabitant equivalents* per 100 million kWh The figure shows the results of comparisons between complete life cycles where hard coal is substituted by triticale for electricity generation. The unit refers to an amount of one hundred million kWh of electricity. This is equivalent to the average electricity requirement of about 12,750 inhabitants of Denmark in one year or a triticale production of about 19,300 ha/a. Conclusion The results show that both triticale as well as hard coal have certain ecological advantages and disadvantages, depending on the parameters given highest priority. Thus for example, triticale has significant environmental advantages over coal with regard to the greenhouse effect and use of fossil fuels but on the other hand hard coal is superior with regard to nitrous oxide and eutrophication. The other parameters show less significant result in favour of hard coal. The data for human toxicity tend to have a high uncertainty. Therefore this category should not be included in the final assessment. (**For more information on this and the other environmental parameters investigated see Chapters 3.3 and 3.4 as well as 4.1.2.) A further assessment in favour of or against triticale or hard coal cannot be carried out on a scientific basis, because for this purpose subjective value judgements regarding the individual environmental categories are required which differ from person to person. Whether triticale is assessed as better or worse than coal depends upon the focus and priorities of the decision makers. If the main focus of the decision maker is for example on the reduction of the greenhouse effect and the saving of energy resources, triticale will be better suited. If on the other hand the parameters nitrous oxide and eutrophication are deemed to be more important, then coal would be preferred.

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