Sustainable Bioenergy Assessment

Bioenergy policy formulation should be evidence based. This evidence is provided by the Sustainable Bioenergy Assessment which is based on the BEFS Analytical Framework (BEFS AF).

The BEFS Approach has two levels to conduct a sustainable bioenergy assessment, which covers the whole bioenergy pathway starting from feedstock availability assessment to energy end use options. There is an initial assessment level named the BEFS Rapid Appraisal and a more in-depth level named the Detailed BEFS. The first step is the BEFS Rapid Appraisal (BEFS RA) as it can be carried out in a short timeframe and can provide policy makers with an initial understanding of the bioenergy potential in a specific country context along with the potential risks and benefits, economic viability and key social indicators.   

The Natural Resource analysis includes a Biomass Potential Assessment. The Techno-economic and Socio-economic analyses address technology requirements, production costs, smallholder inclusion, job creation and investment requirements.

Food security considerations and sustainability dimensions are interwoven throughout the BEFS AF. With regards to food security, current and planned uses of biomass for non-bioenergy purposes are subtracted from the amount of feedstock potentially available for bioenergy production. This is done to minimize the competition with food, feed and other uses. With regards to food access, employment implications and considerations of small holder inclusion are addressed depending on the level of the analysis.

Concerning sustainability, all three pillars (environmental, social and economic) are addressed. In the Biomass Potential Assessment, protected areas are excluded and priority is given to intensification of agricultural production. In addition, current uses of residues, including for soil management, are excluded. Economic and social sustainability cover issues related to the economic and financial viability of the various biofuel pathways, smallholder inclusion and job creation, among others.

The BEFS Rapid Appraisal provides a preliminary indication of the sustainable bioenergy potential of the country.

The BEFS Detailed Analysis carries out the analysis at a more detailed and spatially defined level, thus provides more accurate results to inform policy making. If the Detailed Analysis is preceded by the BEFS Rapid Appraisal, this allows to conduct a more targeted in-depth analysis.

last updated:  Thursday, April 14, 2016