Climate impact potential of utilizing forest residues for bioenergy in Norway
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The utilization of forest residues for bioenergy in Norway is foreseen to increase due to the government call to double bioenergy output by 2020 to thirty Tera-Watt hours. This study focuses on the climate impacts of bioenergy utilization where four forest residue extraction scenarios at clear-cut are considered: i) 75 % above ground residues (branches, (25 %) foliage, tops); ii) 75 % above and below ground residues (branches, tops, (25 %) foliage, stumps, coarse and small roots); iii) extracting 100 % of all available forest residue; and iv) leaving all residues in the forest. The Yasso07 soil-carbon model was utilized to quantify the carbon flux to the atmosphere due to the forest residues that are left in the forest in each scenario. The climate impact potential for each scenario was then calculated for the carbon-flux neutral Norway Spruce (Picea abies) forest system in five regions of Norway. The biogenic carbon dioxide emissions associated to decomposition upon forest floor, procurement losses and bioenergy conversion are included in these calculations. Results suggest that if such bioenergy can directly replace a fossil source of energy, the utilization of this biomass was found to be climatically beneficial in most fossil energy replacement cases and time horizons when compared to leaving the residues in the forest. Integrated global temperature change displacement factors have been developed which have been used to estimate the magnitude of this climate change mitigation over a particular time horizon.
KeywordsBioenergy Carbon neutral Climate change Forest residues Global temperature potential
The authors would like to acknowledge the Norwegian research council for funding this work through the Bio-energy Innovation Centre (CenBio).
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