Sustainable Bioenergy Assessment

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

The BEFS AF starts with the definition of the Country Context. This is followed by three areas of analysis for the whole biofuel supply chain, namely Natural Resources, Techno-economic Analysis and Socio-economic Analysis.

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 Analytical Framework. 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, smallholder inclusion in the bioenergy supply chain is addressed and options for income and employment generation are assessed.

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 and planned 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 Approach includes two sets of methodologies and tools to conduct a sustainable bioenergy assessment based on the BEFS AF: the BEFS Rapid Appraisal and the BEFS Detailed Analysis.

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

The BEFS Detailed Analysis 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:  Wednesday, April 16, 2014