Navigating bioenergy - Contributing to informed decision making on bioenergy issues

Nov 2009

Bioenergy has become one of the most dynamic and rapidly changing sectors of the global energy economy. Accelerated growth in the production and use of bioenergy in the past few years is attracting interest from policy makers and investors around the globe.
Decision makers worldwide have recognized the importance of bioenergy as a major potential energy source due to a number of reasons, including:
- Modern bioenergy is considered a portal through which countries could optimize the use of their indigenous biomass sources and derive significant future economic benefit from them.
- Bioenergy includes a wide range of technologies that use a variety of feedstocks, thereby contributing to diversification of energy systems and increasing energy security.
- Use of modern bioenergy technologies results in greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
Within UNIDO’s expert meetings a number of topics were selected as the most hotly-debated bioenergy issues:
1. Jatropha—the feedstock of the future?
2. Biomethane—is it an underestimated energy source?
3. Energy from Municipal Solid Waste—can this potential be realized?
4. The Biorefinery Concept—how relevant is it for developing countries?
5. Competition with Food—what are the facts in the food versus fuel discussion?
6. Sustainability and Certification of Biomass—what are the benefits?
7. Clean Development Mechanism—how does it work?
8. Success Stories
“Navigating Bioenergy” is intended to give the reader an initial balanced view of those eight selected topics. It is hoped that the publication will be of use to those policy makers in developing countries who are in the process of initiating and expanding their bioenergy programmes. However, given the purpose to produce an easy-to-read and concise introduction to these topics, a comprehensive treatment and in-depth analysis of all aspects, as complex and controversial as they are, cannot be provided.
This document aims therefore to provide an array of valuable information that will contribute to informed policy discussions by decision makers dealing with bioenergy.

By: United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

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