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Bibliothèque Bioenergy and sustainability: Bridging the gaps

Bioenergy and sustainability: Bridging the gaps

Bioenergy and sustainability: Bridging the gaps

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Date of publication
Novembre 2015
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ISBN / Resource ID

The development of modern high efficiency bioenergy technologies has the potential to improve energy security and access while reducing environmental impacts and stimulating low-carbon development. While modern bioenergy production is increasing in the world, it still makes a small contribution to our energy matrix. At present, approximately 87% of energy demand is satisfied by energy produced through consumption of fossil fuels. Although the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts that this share will fall to 75%, the total consumption of fossil fuels will continue to rise, adding another 6 Gt of carbon to the atmosphere by 2035. The consequences of this increase are worrisome. Deforestation and land degradation also contribute to increased greenhouse gas emissions. The world’s total forest area in 2010 was just over 4 billion hectares, which corresponds to an average of 0.6 ha per capita. Each year, between 2000 and 2010, around 13 million hectares of forestland were converted to other uses or lost through natural causes. The production of timber for housing or the need to make land available for urbanization, large-scale cash crops such as soy and oil palm, subsistence agriculture and cattle ranching induce deforestation. Forests are also degraded or damaged due to the soaring demand for fuelwood and charcoal for cooking and heating in developing countries that suffer from low levels of access to modern energy services. Most of the world’s bioenergy is presently derived from wood burning for cooking and heating in developing countries. Such traditional uses of biomass are low in cost to the users, but their technical inefficiency results in considerable health and environmental costs while providing only low quality energy services.

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