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Biofuels and their potential to aid the UK towards achieving emissions reduction policy targets

This article assesses the potential of biofuels contributing to the UK emission reduction targets in the formulated UK Low Carbon Transition Plan (LCTP) and the UK’s obligation in the wider EU emissions reduction targets, using four scenarios.

Johan C.I. Kuylenstierna, Adolf Acquaye / Published on 6 July 2012

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Acquaye, A.A., T. Sherwen, A. Genovese, J.C.I. Kuylenstierna, S.C.L. Koha, and S. McQueen-Mason (2012). Biofuels and their potential to aid the UK towards achieving emissions reduction policy targets. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 16:7, 5414–5422.

The scenarios were evaluated using hybrid life-cycle assessment developed in a multi-regional input–output (MRIO) framework. In the hybrid MRIO LCA framework, technology-specific processes in the biofuels and fossil fuels LCA systems are integrated into a generalized 2-region (UK and Rest of the World) environmental-economic input–output framework in order to account for economy-wide indirect GHG emissions in the biofuels and fossil fuels LCA systems as well as other indirect impacts, such as indirect land use change.

The life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions of biodiesel (soybean, palm, rape, waste cooking oil) and bio-ethanol (sugarcane, sugarbeet, corn) were assessed and compared to fossil fuel (diesel and petrol) baseline.

From one of the scenarios, biodiesel production from waste cooking oil and bioethanol from sugarbeet offer the biggest potential for emissions savings relative to fossil fuel equivalent and offering a maximum emission savings of 4.1% observed with a biofuel market share of 10% reached in 2020.

It was also established that under current biofuel feedstock mix, to achieve the 6% emissions saving primarily from biofuels as proposed in the LCTP, 23.8% of the transport fuels market would be required to be held by biofuels by 2020.

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Johan C.I. Kuylenstierna

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SEI York

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10.1016/j.rser.2012.04.046 Closed access
Topics and subtopics
Energy : Planning and modelling
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