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Title (Primary) Systems assessment of biofuels : modelling of future cost and greenhouse gas abatement competitiveness between biofuels for transport on the case of Germany
Author Millinger, M.
Source Titel PhD Dissertation
Year 2018
Volume 3/2018
Page To XVII, 92
Language englisch
Keywords biofuels; greenhouse gas; economics; competition; land use; advanced; conventional; systems perspective
UFZ inventory Leipzig, Bibliothek, Reportsammlung, 00529594, 19-0054 F/E
Abstract Biofuels are a renewable alternative for reducing the climate impact of transport. Due to the versatility of biomass and complexity of economics and impacts, biofuels are part of a complex system, which is here analysed from a systems perspective. Several models are developed in order to assess the competitiveness of various crop based biofuel options as part of a system, using different economic and environmental functional units. The scope is set to Germany until 2050.
The capital and feedstock costs were revised to higher levels compared to common assumptions. The different functional units result in different merit orders for the biofuel options. Currently used biofuels, rape seed based biodiesel and starch crop based bioethanol, were found not to be competitive when considering differentiated and increasing feedstock costs. Advanced liquid fuels were only competitive at extreme assumptions, contrary to common expectations. Instead, sugar beet based ethanol dominated for most of the time span when comparing energetic cost, whereas Synthetic Natural Gas (SNG) was competitive on a greenhouse gas abatement (GHG) cost basis, especially at a rapid decarbonisation of the power mix. With a land use GHG abatement functional unit, silage maize based biomethane was the best, with SNG converging only at very high renewables shares of the background systems.
Switching from current practise to higher yielding biofuel options can treble the abatement per land area for the present day, and potentially increase it by a factor five in the future. A focus on GHG abatement per area of arable land results in the land passenger transport sector to be of the highest priority due to the suitability of higher yielding biofuel options, followed by land goods transport, shipping and finally aviation. If gaseous fuels are not possible to introduce on a large scale, sectors where liquefied gaseous fuels are suitable
become the priority, i.e. goods transport and shipping. The current practise of applying admixture quotas to sub-sectors of land transport renders a significantly lower climate benefit compared to an overall optimal usage, and a large societal transition is required before aviation biofuels become the climate optimal biomass usage.
The direct importance of land use has thus far not received enough attention in terms of the economics of biofuels from dedicated crops, as well as for the greenhouse gas emissions policy. Biofuels produced from arable land can provide a strong GHG benefit if an expansion of arable land is hindered through redirecting land use, which requires a holistic policy approach.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Millinger, M. (2018):
Systems assessment of biofuels : modelling of future cost and greenhouse gas abatement competitiveness between biofuels for transport on the case of Germany
Dissertation, Universität Leipzig, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät
PhD Dissertation 3/2018
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung - UFZ, Leipzig, XVII, 92 pp.