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BIOENERGY FOR EUROPE: WHICH ONES FIT BEST?

BIOENERGY FOR EUROPE: WHICH ONES FIT BEST?

110 7 Annex Willow

110 7 Annex Willow versus light oil or natural gas for heat 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 Willow vs light oil Willow vs natural gas -800 -600 -400 -200 0 200 400 600 800 1000 Danish inhabitant equivalents* per 100 TJ The figure shows the results of comparisons between complete life cycles where light oil (blue rows) or natural gas (light blue) is substituted by willow for heat production. The unit refers to an amount of 100 TJ of heat. This is equivalent to the average heat requirement of about 4,700 inhabitants of Denmark in one year or a willow production of about 600 ha/a. Conclusion The results show that both willow as well as light oil/natural gas have certain ecological advantages and disadvantages, depending on the parameters given highest priority. Willow has significant environmental advantages over light oil with regard to the parameters greenhouse effect and use of fossil fuels but on the other hand the fossil fuels are superior with regard to nitrous oxide and human toxicity. The other parameters show less significant result mostly in favour of fossil fuel. As mentioned, the data for human toxicity tend to have an uncertainty higher than average, and should therefore 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 willow or fossil fuels cannot be carried out on a scientific basis, because for this purpose subjective value judgements regarding the individual environmental categories are required. If the main focus of the decision maker is for example on the reduction of the greenhouse effect and the saving of energy resources, willow will be better suited. If on the other hand the parameter nitrous oxide were deemed to be most important, then light oil or natural gas would be preferred.

7.1 Country specific life cycle comparisons 111 Miscanthus versus light oil or natural gas for heat production – Denmark Use of fossil fuels Greenhouse effect Acidification Eutrophication Summer smog Nitrous oxide** Humantoxicity** * How to interpret the diagram: Advantages for biofuel Advantages for fossil fuel Miscanthus vs light oil Miscanthus vs natural gas -1000 -500 0 500 1000 1500 Danish inhabitant equivalents* per 100 TJ The figure shows the results of comparisons between complete life cycles where light oil (blue rows) or natural gas (red rows) is substituted by Miscanthus for heat production. The unit refers to an amount of 100 TJ of heat. This is equivalent to the average heat requirement of about 4,700 inhabitants of Denmark in one year or a Miscanthus production of about 1,100 ha/a. Conclusion The results show that both Miscanthus as well as light oil or natural gas have certain ecological advantages and disadvantages, depending on the parameters given highest priority. Thus for example, Miscanthus has significant environmental advantages over the fossil fuels with regard to the parameters greenhouse effect and use of fossil fuels but on the other hand light oil or natural gas is superior with regard to nitrous oxide, acidification and human toxicity. The other parameters show less significant result in favour of fossil fuel. However, the data for human toxicity tend to have a uncertainty higher than average, and should therefore 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 Miscanthus or light oil/natural gas 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 Miscanthus is assessed as better or worse than the relevant fossil fuels 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, Miscanthus will be better suited. If on the other hand the parameters nitrous oxide and eutrophication are deemed to be most important, then light oil or natural gas would be preferred.

Bioenergy Update 10-02 - General*Bioenergy