INSTITUTO DE INVESTIGACIONES EN ENERGIA NO CONVENCIONAL
Unidad Ejecutora - UE
capítulos de libros
Assessing the Sustainability of Bioenergy Systems
MANRIQUE, SILVINA; FRANCO, JUDITH
Bioenergy Systems, Biological Sources and Environmental Impact.
Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Lugar: Hauppauge NY ; Año: 2013; p. 1 - 57
The use of biomass -term includes materials of organic origin unfossilized- is being promoted worldwide mainly for two reasons: i) its energy contribution and ii) involvement in reducing CO2 emissions. Unlike other renewable energy sources, the biomass includes a variety of resources all of organic nature but with different characteristics. Bioenergy systems based on biomass are complex because they cover various stakeholders and economic sectors, different legal frameworks, resource types, implementation options and energy conversion processes, which generate systems with particular characteristics that are included in certain social and environmental contexts. The fact that the biomass is associated with the benefits mentioned and even many other benefits (partial replacement of fossil fuels, regional and local availability, source of carbon neutral energy, low or no cost, versatility for generating electricity, heat, solid or gas or liquid fuels) not imply that their use is inherently sustainable. The condition of sustainability - which does not indicate a fixed target but a path to a more desirable stage- depends on how a group perceives the reality and what their interests are in a given historical and temporal moment. Therefore this concept must be defined in each particular context. There should also be defined criteria and indicators to monitor the trend of the bioenergy system towards higher or lower levels the sustainability in the context analyzed. In the Lerma Valley, province of Salta, Argentina, where there are different resources of biomass, four bioenergy systems (energy systems based on biomass) were defined for analysis. By means of a Multi-Criteria Assessment, the four systems were evaluated in issues identified and agreed by means of a survey of international experts. Three of the energy systems on the basis of biomass show a level of sustainability between medium and high (50 to 75% of a perfect system). Though no bioenergy system reaches 100% of sustainability, they present valuables qualities for its implementation. Analyses identify areas with greater shortcoming and recognition of the dimensions that require the application of policies or corrective tools. The simultaneous and planned application of the proposed bioenergy systems could have a positive impact on local sustainability of the Lerma Valley.