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IEA Releases Roadmap for Sustainable Deployment of Bioenergy for Heat and Power

IEA30 May 2012: The International Energy Agency (IEA), as part of its Technology Roadmap series covering 19 supply and demand side energy technologies, has published the "Technology Roadmap: Bioenergy for Heat and Power," which discusses the current state of bioenergy, including sustainability issues and economic perspectives, and recommends actions to increase sustainable bioenergy deployment.

The aim of the Roadmap is to identify the main tasks to accelerate the sustainable deployment of bioenergy. In addition, it aims to enhance deployment of advanced biomass cookstoves and biogas systems to 320 million households in developing countries by 2030 in order to reduce the use of inefficient and environmentally harmful traditional biomass used for cooking and heating, and contribute to universal access to modern and sustainable energy. The Roadmap addresses: the current status of bioenergy; sustainability issues; economic perspectives and cost reduction targets; biomass supply; technology improvements; and policy issues.

The Roadmap projects that the global bioenergy supply for heat and electricity production could double by 2050, providing up to 7.5% of world electricity generation, 15% of global final energy consumption in industry, and 20% of total world heat energy for buildings. In addition, as Bo Diczfalusy, IEA Director of Sustainable Energy Policy and Technology, mentioned at the launch of the Roadmap during the World Bioenergy 2012 conference on May 29: “Using bioenergy for both heat and power could bring 2 gigatonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions savings per year in 2050 compared to a business-as-usual scenario, 35% of which from biomass heat in industry and buildings.”

The Roadmap provides suggestions to achieve the potential of bioenergy over the next 40 years, including: co-firing biomass in coal-fired plants; the development of large-scale biomass power plants; promoting enhanced research, development and demonstration efforts; international trade in biomass and biomass intermediates; developing technical standards for biomass feedstocks; international coordination of certification systems for sustainable bioenergy; and government action to establish a framework for investments in sustainable bioenergy electricity and heat production. [Publication: Technology Roadmap: Bioenergy for Heat and Power] [IEA Press Release]