How2Guide for Bioenergy Roadmap Development and Implementation

How2Guide for Bioenergy Roadmap Development and Implementation

A guide and toolbox for developing and implementing sustainable bioenergy roadmaps, 27th February 2017, By Helena Eriksson

A new guide and toolbox on bioeneregy have been developed by FAO. "How2Guide for Bioenergy Roadmap Development and Implementation' is designed to provide stakeholders from government, industry, and other bioenergy-related institutions with the methodology and tools required to successfully plan and implement a roadmap for bioenergy at the national or regional level.

Year of publication: 2017
Publisher: FAO/OECD, IEA
Pages: #78 p.
ISBN: 978-92-5-109586-7
Job Number: I6683;
Author: Maltsoglou, I.;
Agrovoc: bioenergy; renewable energy; climate change mitigation; emission reduction; guidelines; sustainable development;


This How2Guide for Bioenergy is designed to provide stakeholders from government, industry, and other bioenergy-related institutions with the methodology and tools required to successfully plan and implement a roadmap for bioenergy at the national or regional level. As a guide addressed to decision makers in developing, emerging and developed economies, the H2G.BIO does not attempt to cover every aspect of bioenergy conversion technology and deployment, or to be exhaustive in its reference to biomass resources and technologies at the country and regional levels. Rather, the aim is to provide a comprehensive list of steps and issues to be considered at each phase of bioenergy roadmapping and deployment. Selected case studies provide the reader with an overview of the wide array of technology applications that exist. Key drivers for and barriers to the deployment of bioenergy are discussed in detail throughout and realistic options for action are suggested, along with tools and useful information sources for decision makers.

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An extract from "How2Guide for Bioenergy Roadmap Development and Implementation" on Biomass for electricity generation :

Biomass for electricity generation

Generally, either solid or gaseous biomass is used to generate electricity, although liquid biofuels are used to some extent to replace liquid fossil fuels in small‑scale power generators. In larger‑scale plants, the heat produced by direct combustion of solid biomass alone, or when co‑fired with fossil fuels, can be used to generate electricity via a steam turbine. Biomass electricity generators can support the deployment of variable renewable sources by providing a source of baseload power, potentially increasing the overall deployment of renewables in the energy mix. In this respect, biomass dispatchable power can offer significant added value, in addition to helping cope with load variations at fairly short notice.

The co‑firing of solid biomass fuels with coal in existing large power stations requires investment in biomass storage and fuel handling equipment, but profits from the comparatively higher conversion efficiencies of these coal plants. Although the proportion of biomass that can be combusted with coal in the boiler and co‑fired is limited without more significant investment in plant and equipment, co-firing provides an immediate, relatively low-cost option to replace coal with biomass. In addition, a number of projects have taken place in OECD Europe and Canada to convert coal power stations to operate fully on biomass (IEA, 2015f).

The cost efficiency of power generation from biomass depends critically on the scale of the plant. However, at most scales of operation the electrical efficiency of the steam cycle tends to be lower than that for conventional fossil fuel plants. The availability and quality of feedstock is also an important factor. Moreover, as for all power plants, the cost of biomass electricity generation is highly sensitive to the cost or interest rate at which capital for the project is made available through equity and debt funding.

Alternatively, biomass can be converted by gasification into syngas or via anaerobic digestion into biogas. In each case, this gas can be used directly to produce electricity via gas turbines or engines at higher efficiency than via a steam cycle, particularly in small‑scale plants (<5‑10 megawatts electric, [MWe]). Moreover, biogas can be upgraded
to biomethane and injected into natural gas grids or used in transport applications. While biogas production from anaerobic digestion is a mature technology, also widely utilised in developing countries, further research and development (R&D) is needed for thermal gasification processes that rely on pressurised operations. This is particularly
important for large applications, while ensuring that produced syngas can be cleaned sufficiently for use in an engine or turbine for electricity or cogeneration
also presents a development challenge.

Co-generation allows for the economic use of the heat produced in power generation, thereby increasing the overall efficiency of a power plant and hence its competitiveness.2 When there is a good match between heat production and demand, such co-generation plants typically have overall (thermal and electrical) efficiencies in the range of
80‑90% (IEA, 2014d).

Market overview and trends

Since the turn of the century, growth has been evident in the use of biomass fuels and feedstocks in all energy end-use sectors, although to differing extents. Figure 3 shows the total final consumption of bioenergy in the heating, electricity and transport sectors respectively. Globally, most bioenergy is still associated with unsustainable, traditional biomass use in the residential sector.

Electricity generation:

Electricity generated from biomass has grown steadily since the year 2000, reaching around 430 terawatt hours (TWh) by 2014, with associated worldwide installed capacity at 90 gigawatts (GW), which amounts to an almost 6% year-on-year increase since 2013.

Power generation from biomass is still concentrated in OECD countries, but China and Brazil are also becoming increasingly important producers thanks to support programmes for biomass electricity generation, in particular from agricultural residues. The United States continues to be the largest generator of electricity from biomass worldwide, followed by Germany and China (IEA, 2015f).

In 2014 global electricity generation from biomass represented about 8% of renewable generation and nearly 2% of electricity generation worldwide. Biomass power production is projected to reach in the order of 590 TWh by 2020, with a 5.5% compound annual growth rate over 2014-20.

Worldwide installed capacity is forecast to reach in the order of 125 GW by 2020 (IEA, 2015f). Key factors underpinning global bioenergy-related power capacity additions are Asian countries, such as China, Thailand and India, utilising significant domestic resources to serve growing demand, and activity in OECD Europe to fulfil National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) related to the EU 2020 target for energy from renewables.


"How2Guide for Bioenergy Roadmap Development and Implementation' is accessible here:

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