E3S Web Conf.
Volume 277, 2021International Conference on Environmental and Energy Sustainabilities (ICEES 2021)
|Number of page(s)||7|
|Section||Environmental and Energy Policies|
|Published online||24 June 2021|
Life cycle thinking in sustainability assessment of bioenergy systems
The Joint Graduate School of Energy and Environment, King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, 126 Prachauthit Rd., Bangmod, Tungkru, Bangkok 10140, Thailand
2 Center of Excellence on Energy Technology and Environment (CEE), PERDO, Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research and Innovation, Bangkok, Thailand
Increasing population and affluence have had a direct influence on increasing the energy demand of nations across the globe. Energy from non-renewable fossil resources has associated emissions of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change, a major challenge facing us today. The governments of many countries have tried to address the twin issues of limited local availability of fossil resources and greenhouse gas emissions by promoting the use of bioenergy. Bioenergy is not automatically sustainable unlike popular belief. Assessing its sustainability using a life cycle thinking approach reveals many caveats, not only regarding greenhouse gas emissions but also other environmental impacts that are often ignored. The environmental assessment of palm oil-based biodiesel shows the trade-offs when considering all the life cycle stages of the biofuel supply chain and also when multiple impact categories are considered. The so-called carbon neutrality becomes questionable and other impacts from agriculture arising due to the use of land and agrochemicals are also seen to be very significant. Ignoring these in policymaking could result in serious unintended consequences. Thus, the importance of life cycle thinking in sustainability assessment is illustrated. This will be critical in addressing national needs while also moving towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2021
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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