Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 1745–1758 | Cite as

Impact of including land-use change emissions from biofuels on meeting GHG emissions reduction targets: the example of Ireland

  • Magdalena M. Czyrnek-Delêtre
  • Alessandro Chiodi
  • Jerry D. Murphy
  • Brian P. Ó Gallachóir
Original Paper

Abstract

The greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions from land-use change are of particular concern for land-based biofuels. Emissions avoided by substituting fossil fuels with biofuels may be offset by emissions from direct and indirect land-use changes (LUC). There is an urgent need to investigate what impact land-use change emissions may have on the expansion of bioenergy and biofuels, in the context of EU mitigation policies. This paper focuses on Ireland, which faces a number of challenges in delivering its renewable energy and GHG reduction targets. The Irish TIMES energy systems model was used to assess the impact of a range of land-use change emissions’ levels on the evolution of Ireland’s low-carbon energy system. A reference scenario was developed where LUC is ignored and Ireland achieves a least-cost low-carbon energy system by 2050. If high indirect land-use change (ILUC) emissions are included, this results in a decrease by 30 % in bioenergy and a 68 % increase in marginal abatement costs by 2050. Hydrogen is used instead of bioenergy in the freight sector in this scenario, while private cars are fuelled by renewable electricity. If GHG emissions from ILUC were considered less severe, indigenous grass biomethane becomes the key biofuel representing 31 % of total bioenergy consumption. This is in line with recent research in Ireland of the key role that grass biomethane can play.

Keywords

Bioenergy Land-use change Climate mitigation Renewable energy policy Energy systems modelling MARKAL-TIMES 

References

  1. Bare JC (2011) Recommendation for land use impact assessment: first steps into framework, theory, and implementation. Clean Technol Environ Policy 13:7–18. doi:10.1007/s10098-010-0290-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bare JC (2014) Development of impact assessment methodologies for environmental sustainability. Clean Technol Environ Policy 16:681–690. doi:10.1007/s10098-013-0685-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. BioGrace (2013) User manual for the BioGrace Excel tool. Available from: www.biograce.net
  4. Bord Bia (2014) Meat and Livestock Review & Outlook 2014/15. Irish Food Board, IrelandGoogle Scholar
  5. Börjesson P, Tufvesson LM (2011) Agricultural crop-based biofuels: resource efficiency and environmental performance including direct land use changes. J Clean Prod 19:108–120. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2010.01.001 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brinkman M, Wicke B, Gerssen-Gondelach S, van der Laan C, Faaij A (2015) Methodology for assessing and quantifying ILUC prevention options. Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, UtrechtGoogle Scholar
  7. Chiodi A, Gargiulo M, Deane JP, Lavigne D, Rout UK, Ó Gallachóir BP (2013a) Modelling the impacts of challenging 2020 non-ETS GHG emissions reduction targets on Ireland′s energy system. Energy Policy 62:1438–1452. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2013.07.129 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chiodi A, Gargiulo M, Rogan F, Deane JP, Lavigne D, Rout UK, Ó Gallachóir BP (2013b) Modelling the impacts of challenging 2050 European climate mitigation targets on Ireland’s energy system. Energy Policy 53:169–189. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2012.10.045 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chiodi A, Deane P, Gargiulo M, Ó Gallachóir BP (2015a) The role of bioenergy in Ireland’s low carbon future: is it sustainable? J Sustain Dev Energy, Water Environ Syst 3:196–216. doi:10.13044/j.sdewes.2015.03.0016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chiodi A, Donnellan T, Breen J, Deane JP, Hanrahan K, Gargiulo M, Ó Gallachoir BP (2015b) Integrating agriculture and energy to assess GHG emissions reduction: a methodological approach. Clim Policy. doi:10.1080/14693062.2014.993579 Google Scholar
  11. Chiodi A, Giannakidis G, Labriet M, Ó Gallachóir BP, Tosato G (2015c) Introduction: energy systems modelling for decision-making. In: Giannakidis G, Labriet M, Ó Gallachóir B, Tosato G (eds) Informing energy and climate policies using energy systems models—insights from scenario analysis. Springer International Publishing, pp 1–12Google Scholar
  12. Chiodi A, Taylor PG, Seixas J, Simões S, Fortes P, Gouveia JP, Dias L, Ó Gallachóir BP (2015d) Energy policies influenced by energy systems modelling – case studies in UK, Ireland, Portugal and G8. In: Giannakidis G, Labriet M, Ó Gallachóir B, Tosato G (eds) Informing energy and climate policies using energy systems models—insights from scenario analysis. Springer International Publishing, pp 15–41Google Scholar
  13. Clancy D, Breen J, Butler AM, Thorne F (2008) The economic viability of biomass crops versus conventional agricultural systems and its potential impact on farm incomes in Ireland. In: 107th EAAE seminar modelling of agricultural and rural development policies, SevillaGoogle Scholar
  14. Clancy M, Bates J, Barker N, Edberg O, Fitzgerald J, Narkeviciute R, O’Brien S, Poole B, Group TEM (2012) Bioenergy Supply Curves for Ireland 2010–2030. Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, DublinGoogle Scholar
  15. European Council (2014) 2030 Climate and energy policy framework: European Council (23 and 24 October 2014) Conclusions EUCO 169/14. Brussels, BelgiumGoogle Scholar
  16. CSO (2015) Agriculture - area yield and production of selected crops. www.cso.ie/multiquicktables/quickTables.aspx?id=aqa04. Accessed 9 Apr 2015
  17. DAFM (2014) Food Harvest 2020, milestones for success. Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine, DublinGoogle Scholar
  18. Donnellan T, Hanrahan K, Breen JP (2013) Development and application of economic and environmental models of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture: Some difficult choices for policy makers. In: 133th EAAE Seminar. June 15th–16th, 2013. European Association of Agricultural Economists, Chania, Crete, GreeceGoogle Scholar
  19. EC (2010) Commission decision of 10 June 2010 on guidelines for the calculation of land carbon stocks for the purpose of Annex V to Directive 2009/28/EC. Official Journal of the European UnionGoogle Scholar
  20. EC (2011) COM/2011/112. A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social committee and the committee of the Regions. Official Journal of the European Union, Brussels, BelgiumGoogle Scholar
  21. EC (2014) COM(2014). A policy framework for climate and energy in the period from 2020 to 2030. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. European Commission, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  22. Edrisi SA, Abhilash PC (2016) Exploring marginal and degraded lands for biomass and bioenergy production: an Indian scenario. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 54:1537–1551. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2015.10.050 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. EirGrid (2010) All Island generation capacity statement 2011–2020. Available from www.eirgrid.com
  24. Energy Policy and Modelling Research Group (2015) Irish TIMES Full Energy System Modelling. Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork. www.ucc.ie/en/energypolicy/irishtimes/. Accessed 26 Apr 2015
  25. EPA (2014a) National Inventory Report 2014 Greenhouse Gas Emissions 1990–2012 reported to the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change. Johnstown Castle, Co. WexfordGoogle Scholar
  26. EPA (2014b) Ireland’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Projections. 2013–2030. Environmental Protection Agency, Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford, IrelandGoogle Scholar
  27. EU (2009) Decision No 406/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the effort of Member States to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Community’s greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments up to 2020. Official Journal of the European UnionGoogle Scholar
  28. European Parliament and Council (2009a) Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources and amending and subsequently repealing Directives 2001/77/EC and 2003/30/EC. Official Journal of the European Union, OJ L 140, 5.6.2009, 16–47Google Scholar
  29. European Parliament and Council (2009b) Directive 2009/29/EC the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading scheme of the Community. Official Journal of the European Union, OJ L 140, 5.6.2009, 63–87Google Scholar
  30. European Parliament and Council (2015) Directive (EU) 2015/1513 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 September 2015 amending Directive 98/70/EC relating to the quality of petrol and diesel fuels and amending Directive 2009/28/EC on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable. Official Journal of the European Union, OJ L 239, 15.9.2015, p. 1-29Google Scholar
  31. Fargione J, Hill J, Tilman D, Polasky S, Hawthorne P (2008) Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt. Science 319:1235–1237. doi:10.1126/science.1152747 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ferraz JBS, De Felício PE (2010) Production systems–an example from Brazil. Meat Sci 84:238–243. doi:10.1016/j.meatsci.2009.06.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. FitzGerald J, Kearney I, Bergin A, Conefrey T, Duffy D, Timoney K, Žnuderl N (2013) Medium-term review: 2013–2020. The Economic and Social Research Institute, DublinGoogle Scholar
  34. Foley AM, Ó Gallachóir BP, McKeogh EJ, Milborrow D, Leahy PG (2013) Addressing the technical and market challenges to high wind power integration in Ireland. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 19:692–703. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2012.11.039 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gargiulo M, Ó Gallachóir BP (2013) Long-term energy models: principles, characteristics, focus, and limitations. WIREs Energy Environ 2:158–177. doi:10.1002/wene.62 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Gawel E, Ludwig G (2011) The ILUC dilemma: how to deal with indirect land use changes when governing energy crops? Land Use Policy 28:846–856. doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2011.03.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Giannakidis G, Labriet M, Ó Gallachóir BP, Tosato G (2015) Informing energy and climate policies using energy systems models. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-16540-0
  38. Glynn J, Chiodi A, Gargiulo M, Deane JP, Bazilian M, Ó Gallachóir BP (2014) Energy security analysis: the case of constrained oil supply for Ireland. Energy Policy 66:312–325. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2013.11.043 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Gnansounou E, Dauriat A, Villegas J, Panichelli L (2009) Life cycle assessment of biofuels: energy and greenhouse gas balances. Bioresour Technol 100:4919–4930. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2009.05.067 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Holden NM, Brereton J (2002) An Assessment of the potential impact of climate change on grass yield in Ireland over the Next 100 Years An assessment of the potential impact of climate change on grass yield in Ireland over the next 100 years. Irish J Agric Food Res 41:213–226Google Scholar
  41. Howley M, Holland M, Dineen D, Eimear C (2015) Energy in Ireland 1990-2014. Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, DublinGoogle Scholar
  42. IEA (2012) World energy outlook 2012. IEA Publications, ParisCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. IEA-ETSAP (2008) Global energy systems and common analyses. Final Report of Annex X (2005–2008). Paris, FranceGoogle Scholar
  44. IEA-ETSAP (2011) Joint studies for new and mitigated energy systems. Final Report of Annex XI (2008–2010). Paris, FranceGoogle Scholar
  45. Kent T, Kofman PD, Coates E (2011) Harvesting wood for energy Cost-effective woodfuel supply chains in Irish forestry. COFORD, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, DublinGoogle Scholar
  46. Klenk I, Landquist B, Ruiz de Imaña O (2012) The product carbon footprint of EU beet sugar. Comité Européen des Fabricants de Sucre, BrusselsGoogle Scholar
  47. Lamb K (2015) Indonesia’s fires labelled a “crime against humanity” as 500,000 suffer. In: The guardian. www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/26/indonesias-fires-crime-against-humanity-hundreds-of-thousands-suffer. Accessed 17 Nov 2015
  48. Loulou R, Remme U, Kanudia A, Lehtila A, Goldstein G (2005) Documentation for the TIMES model. International Energy Agency—Energy Technology Systems Analysis Program. Available from:www.etsap.org/documentation.asp. Accessed Sept 2014
  49. Mathews JA, Tan H (2009) Biofuels and indirect land use change effects: the debate continues. Biofuels, Bioprod Biorefining 3:305–317. doi:10.1002/bbb.147 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. McEniry J, O’Kiely P, Crosson P, Groom E, Murphy JD (2011) The effect of feedstock cost on biofuel cost as exemplified by biomethane production from grass silage. Biofuels, Bioprod Biorefining 5:670–682. doi:10.1002/bbb.322 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. McEniry J, Crosson P, Finneran E, McGee M, Keady TWJ, O’Kiely P (2013) How much grassland biomass is available in Ireland in excess of livestock requirements? Irish J Agric Food Res 52:67–80Google Scholar
  52. Meloni Nassar A, Rudorff BF, Barcellos Antoniazzi L, De Alves Aguiar D, Rumenos Piedade Bacchi M, Adami M (2008) Prospects of the sugarcane expansion in Brazil: impacts on direct and indirect land use changes. In: Zuurbier P, van de Vooren J (eds) Sugarcane ethanol: contributions to climate change mitigation and the environment. Wageningen Academic Publishers, Netherlands, pp 63–93Google Scholar
  53. Moreira M, Nassar A, Antoniazzi L, Bachion LC, Harfuch L (2012) Direct and indirect land use change assessment. In: Poppe M, Cortez LAB (eds) Sustainability of sugarcane bioenergy. Center for Strategic Studies and Management, Brazil, pp 207–237Google Scholar
  54. Murphy J, Braun R, Weiland P, Wellinger A (2011) Biogas from crop digestion. IEA Bioenergy, ParisGoogle Scholar
  55. NORA (2014) The Biofuels Obligation Scheme annual report 2013. Dublin, IrelandGoogle Scholar
  56. O’ Donovan M, Lewis E, O’ Kiely P (2011) Requirements of future grass-based ruminant production systems in Ireland. Irish J Agric Food Res 50:1–21Google Scholar
  57. Ó Gallachóir BP, Chiodi A, Gargiulo M, Deane P, Lavigne D, Rout UK (2012) Irish TIMES Energy Systems Model. Wexford, Ireland. erc.epa.ie/safer/reports, UCC, Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford, IrelandGoogle Scholar
  58. Overmars KP, Stehfest E, Ros JPM, Prins AG (2011) Indirect land use change emissions related to EU biofuel consumption: an analysis based on historical data. Environ Sci Policy 14:248–257. doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2010.12.012 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Palmer J, Owens S (2015) Indirect land-use change and biofuels: the contribution of assemblage theory to place-specific environmental governance. Environ Sci Policy 53:18–26. doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2014.10.010 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Panichelli L, Gnansounou E (2014) Impact of agricultural-based biofuel production on greenhouse gas emissions from land-use change: key modelling choices. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 42:344–360. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2014.10.026 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Persson T, Murphy J, Jannasch A-K, Ahern EP, Liebetrau J, Trommler M, Toyama J (2014) A perspective on the potential role of renewable gas in a smart energy island system. IEA Bioenergy, ParisGoogle Scholar
  62. Phillips H (2011) All Ireland Roundwood Production Forecast 2011-2028. COFORD, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, DublinGoogle Scholar
  63. Pye S, Ó Gallachóir BP, Deane JP (2014) Europe’s renewable energy policies: Too much focus on renewable electricity? In: INSIGHT_E Hot Energy Top. www.insightenergy.org/system/publication_files/files/000/000/006/original/HET_4_Final.pdf?1438176276. Accessed 20 Nov 2015
  64. RES2020 Website: www.cres.gr/res2020/ Accessed May 2013
  65. SEAI (2010) Bioenergy Roadmap. Dublin, IrelandGoogle Scholar
  66. Searchinger T, Heimlich R, Houghton RA, Dong F, Elobeid A, Fabiosa J, Tokgoz S, Hayes D, Yu TU (2008) Use of U.S. croplands for biofuels increases greenhouse gases through emissions from land-use change. Science 319:1238–1240. doi:10.1126/science.1151861 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Singh A, Smyth BM, Murphy JD (2010) A biofuel strategy for Ireland with an emphasis on production of biomethane and minimization of land-take. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 14:277–288. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2009.07.004 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Sinistore JC (2012) The life cycle assessment of cellulosic ethanol production in the Wisconsin and Michigan agricultural contexts: The influence of LCA methods and spatial variability on environmental impact assessment. University of Wisconsin-Madison, MadisonGoogle Scholar
  69. Smyth BM, Murphy JD (2011) The indirect effects of biofuels and what to do about them: the case of grass biomethane and its impact on livestock. Biofuels Bioprod Biorefining 5:165–184. doi:10.1002/bbb.276 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Smyth BM, Ó Gallachóir BP, Korres NE, Murphy JD (2010) Can we meet targets for biofuels and renewable energy in transport given the constraints imposed by policy in agriculture and energy? J Clean Prod 18:1671–1685. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2010.06.027 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Styles D, Jones MB (2007) Energy crops in Ireland: quantifying the potential life-cycle greenhouse gas reductions of energy-crop electricity. Biomass Bioenergy 31:759–772. doi:10.1016/j.biombioe.2007.05.003 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Thamsiriroj T, Smyth H, Murphy JD (2011) A roadmap for the introduction of gaseous transport fuel: a case study for renewable natural gas in Ireland. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 15:4642–4651. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2011.07.088 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Tokgoz S, Laborde D (2014) Indirect Land Use Change Debate: what Did We Learn? Curr Sustain Energy Reports 1:104–110. doi:10.1007/s40518-014-0015-4 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Tomei J, Helliwell R (2015) Food versus fuel Going beyond biofuels. Land Use Policy. doi:10.1016/j.landusepol.2015.11.015 Google Scholar
  75. Tonini D, Hamelin L, Wenzel H, Astrup T (2012) Bioenergy production from perennial energy crops: a consequential LCA of 12 bioenergy scenarios including land use changes. Environ Sci Technol 46:13521–13530. doi:10.1021/es3024435 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Wall DM, O’Kiely P, Murphy JD (2013) The potential for biomethane from grass and slurry to satisfy renewable energy targets. Bioresour Technol 149:425–431. doi:10.1016/j.biortech.2013.09.094 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Walter A, Dolzan P, Quilodrán O, De Oliveira JG, Da Silva C, Piacente F, Segerstedt A (2011) Sustainability assessment of bio-ethanol production in Brazil considering land use change, GHG emissions and socio-economic aspects. Energy Policy 39:5703–5716. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2010.07.043 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MaREI Centre, Environmental Research InstituteUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  2. 2.Energy Policy and Modelling Group, Environmental Research InstituteUniversity College CorkCorkIreland

Personalised recommendations