An integrated framework to assess spatial and related implications...


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Title An integrated framework to assess spatial and related implications ofincreased implementation of biomass delivery chains
Period 01 / 2007 - 04 / 2011
Status Completed
Research number OND1323471


Most key global energy outlooks and scenarios (e.g. as drafted by the IPCC, IIASA, SEI, WEC, Shell) expect that biomass will be the most important renewable energy source in the next 50 years. Though the biomass potential is large, the bulk of this potential awaits active development. The actual volume of biomass supply depend and will vary with the timing in adoption of efficient agricultural management rate of population growth and other trends. Also, changes in land use, land use management and sustainable production and integration of biomass production for energy (and biomaterials) need to be aligned with regional conditions. Ecological and socio-economic conditions vary from place to place and the selection and implementation of biomass production and utilisation chains (both regional and world market) is a regional issue. At this level understanding about biomass potentials and biomass production and utilisation systems is less well developed. This is particularly true when a variety of sustainability criteria (with ecological, economic and social dimensions) need to be taken into account.

In the specific case of the Netherlands where land-use is highly intensive, the present share of bio-energy in the total energy production is a modest 2% (MilieuBalans, 2005). This share could grow to max. 7 - 10% (250 PJ) of the national energy supply with the present technology and knowledge and available biomasss (organic waste, sludges and manure, agriculture and forest residues and some energy crops) (Faaij, 1997, Elbersen W, et al. 2005). With application of novel technology to recover fractions of crops that can be used for the production of bulkchemicals and fuels, Sanders (2005) estimates that another 7% of the fossile raw materials can be substituted by regular agriculture. A vision study for 2040 of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs (2004b) projects that the Netherlands can cover 1/3 of its energy- and feedstock needs with biomass including imports. This is equivalent to 50 million tonnes of biomass (dry matter) per year in 2040. However, the national Dutch biomass potential is estimated to be 20 milion tonnes per year. So this could cover 40% of the total demand (appr. 450 PJ, see Faaij, 1997, Sanders 2005 and Elbersen W, 2005) in 2040. With the limitated national biomass resources and landarea for energy crops,the major part of the required biomass will have to be imported. The potential CO2 savings from replacing fossil fuels with biomass is estimated to be over 50 Mton CO2 per year (20 25 % of the national greenhouse gas emission).

Most studies focus on biomass potential but do not specify how to turn potentially available biomass into actually available biomass. Tapping into the national potential is quite difficult because new biomass delivery chains require high investment costs, integration of activities and collaboration between different and unfamiliar stakeholders and heavily compete with other land use and space in the Netherlands. The implementation of biomass projects in the Netherlands has so far been proven difficult, due to a variety of factors such as policy and legislative issues, lack of availability of resources and high costs. Biomass as source of energy and materials/chemicals can have a wide variety of impacts:
- Spatially because biomass is a disperse resource that has to be collected or actively produced.
- Socially and ecologically with both positive (e.g. soil improvement, carbon storage, rural employment, diversification) and negative (e.g. use of agrochemicals, water use, land-use competition) impacts.
The complexity is futher enlarged because many stakeholders are involved and the number of biomass resources and conversion technologies available or under development is very large. Standardized projects with well defined markets and impacts do not (yet) exist.

We suggest that the biomass potential can be mobilized if innovative biomass delivery chains are designed. These best integrate the needs of local communities with other land use functions and claim only minimal extra land. Key to successful implementation is information and integration. This can be achieved through a collaborative effort and interaction with stakeholders in a joint proces of identifiction and implemention of (multi-functional) land use that include biomass for bioenergy and/or biochemicals. The Netherlands (in a European) setting is a very interesting case study area due to the pressure on land from intensive land use and the combination of a variety of functions. This project will use such an tntegrated approach as it is not available yet. It will develop an integrated framework to assess impacts, spatial implications and opportunities for optimising biomass production and utilisation

An integrated framework and related analysis tools will allow for devising biomass delivery chains that fit the specific regional and national context under different scenarios and future points in time. Such a framework would identify and quantify uncertainties that result from competition for biomass or land, national and international developments and trends. It can be used to facilitate realistic designing, planning and incorporation at a regional level with information on opportunities and risks available.

The innovation is this project does consist of the following:
- Stakeholders need to be involved. Such stakeholders include investors, local authorities, land owners, provincial and local authorities and national government. These stakeholders could decide better on their role or policies better if they have adequate understanding of the impact on spatial requirements for biomass
- Relevant key biomass resource categories are covered (organic wastes, residues produced in agricultural and forestry activities and nature management, biomass produced on potentially available surplus land from perennial and annual or intercropping systems, dedicated crops and biomass production in combination with other land-use functions). The latter may include phytoremediation schemes, urban, recreational, industrial and infrastructural functions, nature buffer zones and conservation and hydrological functions such as water retention, winning and treatment and water storage.
Use scenarios and determine the socio-economic and ecological impacts and evaluate social and environmental performance and potential for (sustainable) biomass delivery chains applying different criteria is another key element of the framework. Furthermore, lessons learned at local and regional scales can be incorporated for application at higher scale levels.

Abstract (NL)

De doelstelling van het project is nieuwe kennis, tools, criteria en scenario s te ontwikkelen om de ruimtelijke inpassing van bioenergieketens te verbeteren, zowel in relatie tot ontwikkeling van optimale biomassa ketens, de ruimtelijke inpassing als de effecten van die ketens op milieu, economie, landschap en biodiversiteit.

Het project richt zich speciaal op interacties tussen bioenergieketens en de ruimte. Daarbij wordt focus aangebracht door uit te gaan van zorgvuldig gekozen regionale cases (combinaties van concrete regio s en bioenergieketens). Daarbij wordt in scenario s met zowel huidige als toekomstige technologie gekeken wat de impact van biomassaketens is, gegeven diverse ruimtelijke interacties (water, biodiversiteit, bodem, landschap, klimaat, concurrentie landgebruik & andere toepassingsvormen en milieu). In het project zelf wordt:

1) Een raamwerk en tools ontwikkeld om tot ontwikkeling en ruimtelijke inpassing van biomassa ketens te komen en deze keten op hun effecten te evalueren.

2) Samen met Stakeholders biomassa ketens ontwikkeld en met gebruik van tools uit (1) naar de effecten van die ketens gekeken.

3) Een verdere onderbouwing van duurzaamheid van bioenergieketens in binnen- en buitenland (certificering) gegeven. Hierbij wordt o.a. voortgebouwd op het Fair Biotrade project.

4) De volgende sociaal-economische ( gamma ) vraagstukken komen in het project aan de orde: economie: kosten en baten, governance/belemmerende regelgeving en draagvlak voor de bioenergie op keten (NGO s e.d.) en regionaal niveau (NIMBY).

- CD Versie van geïntegreerd raamwerk met daarin kennis en verschillende tools waarmee de ruimtelijke inpassing van biomassa ketens kan worden gedaan en effecten van ketens op een geïntegreerde wijze kunnen worden bepaald en afgewogen.
- Verschillende rapporten met regionale cases waar resultaten van de ruimtelijke inpassing van verschillende biomassa ketens en bijbehorende effecten gepresenteerd worden
- 2 proefschriften.
- Verschillende peer reviewed papers
- Presentatie van resultaten in internationale conferenties.

Publicaties bij dit project zijn beschikbaar via deze Link

Related organisations

Related people

Related research (upper level)


D14800 Energy
D65000 Urban and rural planning

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