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BIOENERGY FOR EUROPE: WHICH ONES FIT BEST?

BIOENERGY FOR EUROPE: WHICH ONES FIT BEST?

142 7 Annex SME versus

142 7 Annex SME versus diesel fuel for transportation – Italy Use of fossil fuels Greenhouse effect Acidification Eutrophication Summer smog Nitrous oxide** Human toxicity** Advantages for biofuel * How to interpret the diagram Advantages for fossil fuel -1000 -800 -600 -400 -200 0 200 400 600 800 1000 Italian inhabitant equivalents* per 100 million km The figure shows the results of comparisons between complete life cycles where SME is used in a diesel engine instead of diesel. The unit refers to an amount of 100 million km. This is equivalent to the average annual mileage of about 4,000 Europeans. In this case for example the amount of fossil fuel saved is equal to the amount which about 1,000 Italian citizens would on average consume in one year (this is what is meant by “Italian inhabitant equivalents”). Again, the use of SME leads to a reduction of greenhouse effect equal to that that 660 Italian citizen would cause in one year. Conclusion The results show that both SME as well as Diesel fuel have certain ecological advantages and disadvantages, depending on the parameters given highest priority, even if SME seems to be more advantageous from a general point of view. • Advantages of the biofuel: use of fossil fuels, greenhouse effect, eutrophication, summer smog (small) • Advantages of the fossil fuel: acidification (small) The data for ozone depletion and human toxicity tend to have a high uncertainty. Therefore these categories 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 SME or diesel 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 SME is assessed as better or worse than diesel 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, SME will be better suited. If on the other hand the parameter acidification is deemed to be most important, then diesel would be preferred. 4064

7.1 Country specific life cycle comparisons 143 Traditional firewood versus light oil and natural gas for heat production – Italy Use of fossil fuels Greenhouse effect Acidification Eutrophication Summer smog Nitrous oxide** Human toxicity** * How to interpret the diagram Trad.firewood vs Light oil Trad.Firewood vs Natural gas Advantages for biofuel Advantages for fossil fuel -1100 -900 -700 -500 -300 -100 100 Italian inhabitant equivalents* per 100 TJ The figure shows the results of comparisons between complete life cycles where traditional firewood is used for heating purposes instead of Light oil and Natural Gas. The unit refers to an amount one hundred TJ. This is equivalent to the average heat requirement of about 4,000 inhabitants of Europe in one year. In this case for example the amount of fossil fuel saved using traditional firewood instead of Light oil is equal to the amount which about 1,000 Italian citizens would on average consume in one year (this is what is meant by “Italian inhabitant equivalents”). Again the use of traditional firewood instead of light oil leads to a reduction of acidification equal to that that 50 Italian citizens would cause in one year. Conclusion The results show that traditional firewood has a good advantage over light oil and natural gas: • Advantage for traditional firewood: use of fossil fuels, greenhouse effect, summer smog, acidification versus light oil • Advantages for fossil fuel: eutrophication, acidification versus natural gas The data for ozone depletion and human toxicity tend to have a high uncertainty. Therefore these categories 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 firewood or light oil 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 firewood is assessed as better or worse than light oil or natural gas depends upon the focus and priorities of the decision makers.

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