Fighting climate change with bioenergy may do ‘more harm than good’

Mongabay.com

  • A new study finds land-use like grazing and managing forests for resource extraction may have released more carbon than previously thought. Its results indicate the world’s terrestrial vegetation is currently sequestering less than half its full carbon-storage potential.
  • Of that missing half, the researchers discovered 42 to 47 percent is attributed to land uses that don’t technically change the vegetation cover type. The researchers say that climate change mitigation strategies often focus on reducing intensive land-use like deforestation, with less-intensive uses that don’t change cover type largely overlooked and under-researched.
  • One of these less-intensive uses is managing forests for biomass energy production. Many countries are trying to replace fossil fuels with biomass energy in-line with international climate agreements like the Paris Accord.
  • The researchers warn that strategies developed under the assumption that producing biomass energy doesn’t come at a carbon cost could harm efforts to fight climate change. They urge that in addition to stopping deforestation, the protection of forest functions, like carbon stocks, should be moved more into focus when it comes to land-use and climate change planning.

As nations try to stem emissions to keep the world from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius in line with their commitments towards the Paris Accord, replacing fossil fuels with renewable alternatives is widely seen as a big step in the right direction. A major source of energy oft-extolled as renewable is biomass from trees, which are usually harvested from managed forests either established on land that has already been deforested or planted where forests didn’t naturally grow. But a new study finds land-use like managing forests for biomass production may come at a much higher carbon cost than previously thought.
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Output difficulties shut down multi-million dollar ethanol factories (Vietnam)

Oversupply and high manufacturing costs, as well as a chronic lack of state support are the major reasons behind the closing of ethanol factories in general and PetroVietnam factories in particular, according to newswire Tuoitre.

VIR – As of now, PetroVietnam’s ethanol factories in the northern province of Phu Tho and the southern province of Binh Phuoc have stopped operations and the fate of the bio-ethanol Dung Quat factory, will be decided in the coming shareholders’ meeting. Tiếp tục đọc “Output difficulties shut down multi-million dollar ethanol factories (Vietnam)”

The Problem with Biofuels

The U.S. Navy is touting its “Great Green Fleet,” but why haven’t biofuels made a bigger splash despite a decade of hype and investment?

technologyreview – Last week the U.S. Navy, with its accustomed pomp and fanfare, launched its first carrier strike group powered partly by biofuel—in this case, a blend made primarily from beef fat. The biofueled warships form a central element of the Navy’s Great Green Fleet program to draw half of its power from clean energy sources, rather than petroleum, by 2020.

Attended by secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus and agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack, the ceremony masked what has been nearly a decade of problems for biofuels—an energy source once touted as capable of virtually eliminating the use of petroleum in the transportation sector. Today biofuels production and consumption stand at a fraction of the levels foreseen under the Renewable Fuel Standard, a federal mandate signed by President George W. Bush that requires fuels made from corn, sugarcane, and other biological sources to be mixed into the nation’s gasoline supply. Tiếp tục đọc “The Problem with Biofuels”