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The effects of greenhouse gas emissions through increased use biofuels - A literature review; Virkningene paa klimagassutslipp ved oekt bruk av biodrivstoff - en litteraturgjennomgang

Technical Report:

Abstract

Production of biofuels is significantly more energy intensive than production of fossil fuels as petrol and diesel (see for example Field et al. 2007). Moreover, during the production process considerable amounts of fossil energy are used as input (Hille et al. 2006). Replacing fossil fuels with biofuels will therefore not lead to emission reductions as significant as one earlier thought, when the fossil fuel input in relation to production of biofuels was ignored. Moreover, during recent years there has been increased attention towards CO{sub 2}- emissions that will occur as farmers worldwide convert grassland and forests to cropland in order to produce biofuels (Fargione et al. 2008). Such emissions are especially significant when tropical rainforests and peatlands are converted to cropland. As the areas are converted to cropland microbial decomposition of organic carbon stored in the soil are released as CO{sub 2}. In some cases such emissions are high and cause a carbon debt that will require many decades or even centuries to be repaid, as biofuels replace fossil fuels. In the meantime the production and use of biofuels have exaggerated climate change. However, there are more promising cases. For example, converting savannas in Brazil for sugarcane production will cause  More>>
Authors:
Publication Date:
Oct 15, 2010
Product Type:
Technical Report
Report Number:
SSB-R-2010-44
Resource Relation:
Other Information: Numerical Data
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; STATISTICAL DATA; EMISSION; STATIONARY POLLUTANT SOURCES; MOBILE POLLUTANT SOURCES; POLLUTION; CARBON DIOXIDE; CARBON DIOXIDE FIXATION; BIOFUELS; BIOMASS
OSTI ID:
1009195
Research Organizations:
Statistisk Sentralbyraa. Oslo (Norway)
Country of Origin:
Norway
Language:
Norwegian
Other Identifying Numbers:
Other: ISSN 0806-2056; TRN: NO1105078
Availability:
Available at: http://www.ssb.no/emner/01/04/10/rapp_201044/rapp_201044.pdf
Submitting Site:
NW
Size:
29 p. pages
Announcement Date:
Mar 21, 2011

Technical Report:

Citation Formats

Holtsmark, Bjart. The effects of greenhouse gas emissions through increased use biofuels - A literature review; Virkningene paa klimagassutslipp ved oekt bruk av biodrivstoff - en litteraturgjennomgang. Norway: N. p., 2010. Web.
Holtsmark, Bjart. The effects of greenhouse gas emissions through increased use biofuels - A literature review; Virkningene paa klimagassutslipp ved oekt bruk av biodrivstoff - en litteraturgjennomgang. Norway.
Holtsmark, Bjart. 2010. "The effects of greenhouse gas emissions through increased use biofuels - A literature review; Virkningene paa klimagassutslipp ved oekt bruk av biodrivstoff - en litteraturgjennomgang." Norway.
@misc{etde_1009195,
title = {The effects of greenhouse gas emissions through increased use biofuels - A literature review; Virkningene paa klimagassutslipp ved oekt bruk av biodrivstoff - en litteraturgjennomgang}
author = {Holtsmark, Bjart}
abstractNote = {Production of biofuels is significantly more energy intensive than production of fossil fuels as petrol and diesel (see for example Field et al. 2007). Moreover, during the production process considerable amounts of fossil energy are used as input (Hille et al. 2006). Replacing fossil fuels with biofuels will therefore not lead to emission reductions as significant as one earlier thought, when the fossil fuel input in relation to production of biofuels was ignored. Moreover, during recent years there has been increased attention towards CO{sub 2}- emissions that will occur as farmers worldwide convert grassland and forests to cropland in order to produce biofuels (Fargione et al. 2008). Such emissions are especially significant when tropical rainforests and peatlands are converted to cropland. As the areas are converted to cropland microbial decomposition of organic carbon stored in the soil are released as CO{sub 2}. In some cases such emissions are high and cause a carbon debt that will require many decades or even centuries to be repaid, as biofuels replace fossil fuels. In the meantime the production and use of biofuels have exaggerated climate change. However, there are more promising cases. For example, converting savannas in Brazil for sugarcane production will cause a carbon debt that will be repaid after approximately 17 years (Fargione et al 2008). The seminal article by Timothy D. Searchinger et al. in Science in February 2008 generated additional uncertainty with regard to the emission reducing effects of biofuels. These authors' main argument was that increased use of existing croplands for biofuels reduces food supply and, therefore, causes higher food prices. This increases the pressure towards further deforestation. However, there are considerable areas of abandoned land that was previously used for forestry or agriculture, and has a low content of carbon stored in the soil. A number of studies underline that producing crops for biofuels on these areas is suitable, also because this could cause that the stock of carbon stored in the soil to increase. However, estimates in Field et al. (2007) suggest that even if all such abandoned land are allocated for biofuels production, it could probably not provide biofuels replacing more than 5 - 8 percent of all fossil fuels used in transport today. As it appears from the research discussed in this report, it is uncertain whether increased use of biofuels in Norway will be a contribution to lower global greenhouse gas emissions. From an overall assessment of the research literature on biofuels, it appears that the Norwegian biofuels policy thus far most likely has given increased global greenhouse gas emissions. This will probably also be the result if the policy is maintained. Hence, the blending mandate ought to be reconsidered in the light of new knowledge that has been achieved subsequent to the design of the Norwegian biofuels policy. There are few if any reasons exempting biofuels from ordinary taxes imposed on fossil fuels. Introduction of a carbon tax on biofuels should also be considered. (Author)}
place = {Norway}
year = {2010}
month = {Oct}
}