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BIOENERGY FOR EUROPE: WHICH ONES FIT BEST?

BIOENERGY FOR EUROPE: WHICH ONES FIT BEST?

112 7 Annex RME versus

112 7 Annex RME versus Diesel fuel for transportation – 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 -1000 -500 0 500 1000 Danish inhabitant equivalents* per 100 million km The figure shows the results of complete life cycle comparisons where RME is used in passenger cars instead of Diesel fuel. The results are given for a distance of 100 million km being covered by passenger cars using the biofuel instead of fossil fuel. In this case for example the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that is being saved by substituting Diesel fuel by RME is equal to the amount which about 300 Danish citizens would on average generate in one year (this is what is meant by “Danish inhabitant equivalents”). Conclusion The results show that both RME as well as diesel fuel have certain ecological advantages and disadvantages, depending on the parameters given highest priority. RME has environmental advantages over diesel fuel with regard to the parameters greenhouse effect and use of fossil fuels but on the other hand diesel fuel is superior with regard to nitrous oxide, acidification and eutrophication. The parameters summer smog and human toxicity show less significant results in favour of RME, but it should be noted that the data for human toxicity tend to have a high uncertainty, and 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 RME or diesel fuel cannot be carried out on a scientific basis, because for this purpose subjective value judgements. Whether RME is assessed as better or worse than diesel fuel 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, RME will be better suited. If on the other hand the parameters nitrous oxide and acidification are deemed to be most important, then diesel fuel would be preferred. 6637

7.1 Country specific life cycle comparisons 113 Wheat straw 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 Straw vs light oil Straw 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) or natural gas (light blue) is substituted by wheat straw 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 wheat straw production of about 2,200 ha/a. Conclusion The results show that both wheat straw as well as light oil/natural gas have certain ecological advantages and disadvantages, depending on the parameters given highest priority. Thus for example, wheat straw 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 and natural gas is superior with regard to nitrous oxide, summer smog and human toxicity. The other parameters show less significant result in favour of fossil fuel. As mentioned, 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 wheat straw 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. Whether wheat straw is assessed as better or worse than light oil 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, wheat straw will be better suited. If on the other hand the parameter nitrous oxide is deemed to be most important, then light oil or natural gas would be preferred.

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