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Availability and characteristics of the future UK biomass resource Dr Patricia Thornley & Mr Andrew Welfle, SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub, University of Manchester.

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Presentation on theme: "Availability and characteristics of the future UK biomass resource Dr Patricia Thornley & Mr Andrew Welfle, SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub, University of Manchester."— Presentation transcript:

1 Availability and characteristics of the future UK biomass resource Dr Patricia Thornley & Mr Andrew Welfle, SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub, University of Manchester

2 1. Background to the SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub 2. Context for future UK biomass resource 3. Specifics of future UK biomass resource Presentation overview

3 Hub Objectives – Act as a focal point for sharing and dissemination of scientific knowledge and engineering understanding to facilitate near- term deployment of technologies – Investigate and develop new approaches for dealing with the very significant engineering challenges associated with deployment of more novel technologies – Improve scientific understanding of the fundamental aspects of different forms of biomass and its conversion – Take a whole-systems perspective to comprehensively evaluate the potential of future technology options – Adopt an interdisciplinary approach to look beyond the engineering and technical aspects of bioenergy and ensure adequate consideration of the impacts on ecosystems, social responses to technology deployment and the economic context of policy development

4 Tyndall Manchester Aston University University of Bath Leeds University Newcastle University Rothamsted Research Drax Progressive Energy Renewable Energy Association North Energy Associates Sustainable Energy Ltd Renewable Energy Systems Greenacres Biomass Energy Centre Danish Tecnologik Instituit Dalkia SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub

5 Projects Initial projects 1.Emissions from solid biomass 2.Impact of feedstock parameters on airborne emissions 3.Evaluation of substitute natural gas 4.Streamlining the supply chain 5.Carbon uncertainties in the supply chain 6.Gasification integration 7.Torrefaction integrated assessment 8.Carbon capture & storage enabling technologies 9.Bio-oil upgrading 10.Whole systems analysis of novel biofuel technologies Later work 1. Public perceptions 2. Biochar 3. Biomass for carbon/materials 4. Micro algae 5. Sustainability of imports 6. Food-fuel conflict 7. Gasification demo plant etc.

6 2. Context for future UK biomass resource

7 (1)DECC, 2009, ‘Biomass Supply Curves for the UK’, (2) Thornley et al., “Sustainability constraints on UK bioenergy development”, Energy Policy, 2009  The biomass resource from UK feedstocks could reach around 10% of current UK primary energy demand by 2030, at a cost of less than £5/GJ 1  Plus a large global woody biomass element  Supergen Bioenergy research shows that the sustainable level of UK biomass resource is lower than this: 4.9% of total energy demand (4.3% of heat demands, 4.3% of electricity, and 5.8% of transport fuel). 2  Plus a large global woody biomass element Availability and characteristics of future UK biomass resource

8  Making efficient use of available waste often maximizes sustainability benefits, particularly greenhouse gas balances Future feedstocks (1)

9 Greenhouse gas savings GHG emissions (kg CO 2 e/MWh) Savings compared to UK grid Savings compared to CCGT plant Savings compared to EU fossil fuel mix Forest residues 5890%86%92% Recycled wood %280%204% Eucalyptus14975%64%79% Thornley et al., “Assessing the sustainability of bioelectricity supply chains”, BIOTEN conference, Birmingham

10  Feedstock characteristics significantly impact on plant performance  Uniform feedstocks are particularly attractive  Technologies that are “omnivorous”/feedstock flexible are key to unlocking significant resources Future feedstocks (2)

11 Thornley, P., “Biofuels Review”, Report for Government Office for Science, prepared as part of the Foresight Programme, June 2012

12  Second generation technologies help address many sustainability issues because of their “whole-chain” (not their thermodynamic!) efficiency Future feedstocks (3)

13 Greenhouse gas savings are not dependent on efficiency Thornley et al., “Integrated assessment of bioelectricity technology options”, Energy Policy 37 (2009),

14 Importance of advanced technologies Thornley, P., “Biofuels Review”, Report for Government Office for Science, prepared as part of the Foresight Programme, June 2012

15 3. Specifics of future UK biomass resource

16 Modelling Approach  Stage One – Assessment of the UK Land Area Available for Biomass Resource Growth  Stage Two – Biomass Planting Scenarios & Quantifying the Indigenous Biomass Resource  Stage Three – The Bioenergy Resource Demand: Balancing Indigenous Potential vs. Imports

17 Developing Resource Forecast Scenarios Food Focus Prime aim of enhancing food security and increasing self sufficiency. - Increased crop yield productivity rates. - Decreased food waste rates. - Balanced waste management forecast. - Reduced land for bioenergy crop growth. Economic Focus Emphasis placed on economic development over other considerations. - Increased rate of built-up area expansion. - Increased food & forest/wood product exports. - Focus on forestry expansion/productivity - Increased utilisation of forestry residues. Energy Focus Focus on enhancing and expanding the bioenergy sector. - Increased focus on forestry expansion/productivity -High utilisation of biomass wastes and residues. -Waste management focusing on energy recovery. -Increased land availability for bioenergy crops. Conservative Focus Future pathway with increased emphasis on conservation and resource protection. - Reduced expansion of built-up land area. - High focus on forestry expansion & preservation. -Reduced rates of waste generation - Waste management focusing on resource recovery.

18 Potential Resource Availability within each Scenario Grown Biomass Resource Energy Crops, Forestry Product, SRF, SRC etc Residue Biomass Resource Agricultural, forestry, industry etc Waste Biomass Resource MSW, Sewage/Sludges, Industry etc

19 Conclusions – Waste resources will be even more significant in future – Integration of bioenergy with the global food system is important – Imports are essential for UK targets and flexible technologies are needed to be resilient to their characteristics – Second generation technologies improve many “sustainability” issues because of their higher efficienty potential – The interfaces between the food system, land system, energy system and biomaterials demands must be taken into account in bioenergy resource assessments

20 Availability and characteristics of the future UK biomass resource Dr Patricia Thornley & Mr Andrew Welfle, SUPERGEN Bioenergy Hub, University of Manchester


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