Tag Archives: biofuel

Growing Sustainably with Bioenergy

IRENA, FAO and IEA agree bioenergy can help meet sustainable development goals

Bioenergy is the most widely used renewable energy source worldwide, and IRENA estimates it could account for half of the renewable energy needed in 2030 to meet climate targets. But to gain the support of the public, expanded use of bioenergy must be socially, economically and environmentally sustainable.

A Round Table at the European Biomass Conference and Exhibition on 13 June 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden, provided an opportunity for IRENA, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the Bioenergy Cooperation Programme of the International Energy Agency (IEA) to set forth a joint briefing paper on Bioenergy for Sustainable Development.  The paper points out that bioenergy can help meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for climate change action, food security, sustainable land use, and access to affordable, reliable, modern sustainable energy for all. Continue reading Growing Sustainably with Bioenergy

Sustainable Flight with Biofuels

If the aviation sector were a country, it would be the eighth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world — using planes and helicopters to move people and cargo around the world produces around two percent of the world’s planet warming gases. In 2010, carbon dioxide (CO­2) emissions, the  primary contributor of human-caused climate change, from international aviation amounted to 448 megatonnes (Mt). The International Civil Aviation Organisation has forecasted that CO2 emissions from the aviation sector will increase to the range of 682 Mt to 755 Mt by 2020, and could even be as high as 2,700 Mt by 2050, a six-fold increase from 2010 levels, if nothing is done about it.

So what can be done? What’s the environmentally responsible solution for aviation, and how can emissions be reduced, short of removing planes from the skies? Continue reading Sustainable Flight with Biofuels

Green Gold: Growing Jet Fuel in the Desert

Thirty kilometres from the bustle of downtown Abu Dhabi, lies a remarkable undertaking that could one day change the environmental impact of air travel.

Set on a two-hectare farm down the road from the IRENA Headquarters building, a pilot project conducted by Masdar Institute’s Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC) is bringing private sector firms together to answer ‘is it possible to create a sustainable jet-powering biofuel?’ Continue reading Green Gold: Growing Jet Fuel in the Desert

Looking Ahead with Advanced Biofuels

Today’s modern world is one defined by mobility. From people commuting across a city for work or traversing the globe for an annual holiday, to industries shipping raw materials and final products, transportation is at the core of so many things we do. Unfortunately this freedom relies on a transport sector that accounts for around a third of the world’s energy use, half of its oil consumption and a fifth of its greenhouse gas emissions. To achieve the goal of reducing global CO­2 emissions and adverting irreversible climate change, the world must look to a host of sustainable transport options, including advanced liquid biofuels — fuels derived from feedstocks as agriculture residues, woody material and algae — to provide a practical fossil fuel alternative for powering airplanes, ships, and heavy freight trucks.

IRENA’s latest report, Innovation Outlook: Advanced Liquid Biofuels, the second in the Innovation Outlook series which includes a renewable mini-grid report and a offshore wind power report, reveals a future global outlook for advanced liquid biofuel technology. It provides a detailed overview of the promising technological developments for commercialised advanced biofuel production to the year 2045. Continue reading Looking Ahead with Advanced Biofuels

Laying the Route to Sustainable Transport

Technological development in renewable energy gives hope for a future where energy demand can be met sustainably. And while there are still some challenges in getting renewables on the electrical grid, using renewable energy for transport is even more complex.

The transport sector makes up 30 per cent of global energy consumption and its energy use is expected to grow one per cent every year till 2030. With the lowest renewable energy share of any sector, and making up 25 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions (a figure expected to rise to over a third by 2030), there is a growing urgency in finding ways to supply the energy we need to get around, in a sustainable manner. This challenge is the focus of a newly released IRENA working paper that lays out a renewable route to a more sustainable transport future.

Continue reading Laying the Route to Sustainable Transport