Opinion is divided on the merits of incentivising a large scale, international trade in biomass for bioenergy, including liquid biofuel for transport. The benefits of this trade will very much depend upon careful targeting, monitoring and management.
Complex cross-policy domain interactions can be expected to arise from a large scale international bioenergy and biofuel trade. The environmental and social consequences will also vary substantially by feedstock type, conversion technology and end-use. As part of the EPSRC SUPERGEN Bioenergy consortium (2007-11), Tyndall Manchester is undertaking life cycle analyses (LCA) of alternative bioenergy/biofuel systems and characterizing stakeholder opinion of systems relevant to the UK. A supplementary project is undertaking the same for the potential use of UK marine biomass for bioenergy.
The project has reviewed the attributes of 19 feedstocks relevant to UK bioenergy/biofuel supply; has investigated stakeholder opinion of supply of soy in Argentina and Jatropha in India, for biodiesel; has characterized critical stakeholder opinion of the UK Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation; has produced a scenario of ‘sustainable’ 2020 bioenergy supply to the UK; and is undertaking LCA for power, heat and liquid transport fuel systems.