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Title: Quantifying the climate effects of bioenergy – Choice of reference system

In order to understand the climate effects of a bioenergy system, a comparison between the bioenergy system and a reference system is required. The reference system describes the situation that occurs in the absence of the bioenergy system with respect to the use of land, energy, and materials. The importance of reference systems is discussed in the literature but guidance on choosing suitable reference systems for assessing climate effects of bioenergy is limited. The reference system should align with the purpose of the study. Transparency of reference system assumptions is essential for proper interpretation of bioenergy assessments. This paper presents guidance for selecting suitable reference systems. Particular attention is given to choosing the land reference. If the goal is to study the climate effects of bioenergy as a part of total anthropogenic activity the reference system should illustrate what is expected in the absence of human activities. In such a case the suitable land reference is natural regeneration, and energy or material reference systems are not relevant. If the goal is to assess the effect of a change in bioenergy use, the reference system should incorporate human activities. In this case suitable reference systems describe the most likely alternative usesmore » of the land, energy and materials in the absence of the change in bioenergy use. The definition of the reference system is furthermore subject to the temporal scope of the study. In practice, selecting and characterizing reference systems will involve various choices and uncertainties which should be considered carefully. As a result, it can be instructive to consider how alternative reference systems influence the results and conclusions drawn from bioenergy assessments.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [3] ;  [4] ;  [5]
  1. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (Finland); Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Pulawy (Poland)
  2. Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Helsinki (Finland); Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Pulawy (Poland)
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Pulawy (Poland)
  4. Univ. of New England, Armidale (Australia); Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Pulawy (Poland)
  5. KTH - Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (Sweden); Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Pulawy (Poland)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 81; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1364-0321
Publisher:
Elsevier
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; Reference system; Bioenergy; Climate effect; Land use
OSTI Identifier:
1376361