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BIOENERGY FOR EUROPE: WHICH ONES FIT BEST?

BIOENERGY FOR EUROPE: WHICH ONES FIT BEST?

146 7 Annex 7.1.7

146 7 Annex 7.1.7 Country specific results – The Netherlands In the following section the results for all those life cycle comparisons are presented that were investigated for The Netherlands. The figures in this section show the results of the comparisons between the complete life cycles where a fossil fuel is substituted by a biofuel. CLM studied the life cycles of: • Willow and Miscanthus versus natural gas (heat production); • Hemp versus natural gas (electricity production); • ETBE from sugar beet versus MTBE; • Biogas versus natural gas (electricity and heat production). In order to assess which biofuel is the most suitable in ecological terms for different objectives we will make the following comparisons: • Heat production with perennial crops: willow, Miscanthus; • Different types of bioenergy with annual crops: hemp, sugar beet for ETBE; • Electricity: biogas, hemp; • Bioenergy: annual crops, perennial crops. Bullet 3 gives a comparison between life cycles which do not exclude each other. Both biofuels can be produced without affecting the other chain. This is not the case for the other comparisons as arable land is needed for the crops. 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 Per environmental impact parameter a short impression of the most notable results is given. In the conclusions the four comparisons are discussed and a summary of the results and discussion is given. How to interpret the diagrams For each environmental parameter a figure is shown with the impact of the biofuels and the accompanying fossil fuel on that specific environmental theme. The impact on an environmental parameter is expressed per MJ useful energy. This is the net energy which is usable for the consumer. The difference in height between the columns for the biofuel and accompanying fossil fuel shows the effect on an environmental parameter when the fossil fuel is substituted by the biofuel. The columns for the biofuels and accompanying fossil fuels are divided into an agricultural and a energy production part to show and compare the effect on the environmental parameters of the different stages in the life cycles. For biogas no distinction is made for the agricultural and energy production part. In its graph, the bar for the agricultural part also includes the energy production due to fermentation.

7.1 Country specific life cycle comparisons 147 Use of fossil fuels – The Netherlands MJ/MJ useful energy 2,5 2 1,5 1 0,5 0 willow heat natural gas heat Miscanthus heat Processing & utilisation Agriculture/forestry part Fossil fuel life cycle Agricultural reference system natural gas heat hemp electricity natural gas electricity sugar beet ETBE transport MTBE transport biogas electricity + heat natural gas electricity + heat As shown in the figure less energy (as fossil fuels) is needed when energy is produced with biofuels than with fossil fuels. The difference in energy demand between biofuel and fossil fuel varies around 1 MJ/MJ useful. Obviously this is caused by the use of biomass for the production of biofuel in stead of using fossil resources. Growing perennials costs less fossil fuel than growing annuals. This difference between annuals and perennials is due to a much more intensive cultivation of the annuals. Greenhouse effect – The Netherlands g CO2 eq./MJ useful energy 250 200 150 100 50 0 willow heat natural gas heat Miscanthus heat natural gas heat Processing & utilisation Agriculture/forestry part Fossil fuel life cycle Agricultural reference system hemp electricity natural gas electricity sugar beet ETBE transport MTBE transport biogas electricity + heat natural gas electricity + heat

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