The value of bioenergy in low stabilization scenarios: an assessment using REMIND-MAgPIE

Klein, David; Luderer, Gunnar; Kriegler, Elmar; Strefler, Jessica; Bauer, Nico; Leimbach, Marian; Popp, Alexander; Dietrich, Jan; Humpenöder, Florian; Lotze-Campen, Hermann; Edenhofer, Ottmar
April 2014
Climatic Change;Apr2014, Vol. 123 Issue 3/4, p705
Academic Journal
This study investigates the use of bioenergy for achieving stringent climate stabilization targets and it analyzes the economic drivers behind the choice of bioenergy technologies. We apply the integrated assessment framework REMIND-MAgPIE to show that bioenergy, particularly if combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a crucial mitigation option with high deployment levels and high technology value. If CCS is available, bioenergy is exclusively used with CCS. We find that the ability of bioenergy to provide negative emissions gives rise to a strong nexus between biomass prices and carbon prices. Ambitious climate policy could result in bioenergy prices of 70 $/GJ (or even 430 $/GJ if bioenergy potential is limited to 100 EJ/year), which indicates a strong demand for bioenergy. For low stabilization scenarios with BECCS availability, we find that the carbon value of biomass tends to exceed its pure energy value. Therefore, the driving factor behind investments into bioenergy conversion capacities for electricity and hydrogen production are the revenues generated from negative emissions, rather than from energy production. However, in REMIND modern bioenergy is predominantly used to produce low-carbon fuels, since the transport sector has significantly fewer low-carbon alternatives to biofuels than the power sector. Since negative emissions increase the amount of permissible emissions from fossil fuels, given a climate target, bioenergy acts as a complement to fossils rather than a substitute. This makes the short-term and long-term deployment of fossil fuels dependent on the long-term availability of BECCS.


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