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Mitigation potential and environmental impact of centralized versus distributed BECCS with domestic biomass production in Great Britain

Albanito, F; Hastings, A; Fitton, N; Richards, M; Martin, M; Mac Dowell, N; Bell, D; ... Smith, P; + view all (2019) Mitigation potential and environmental impact of centralized versus distributed BECCS with domestic biomass production in Great Britain. GCB Bioenergy 10.1111/gcbb.12630. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

New contingency policy plans are expected to be published by the United Kingdom government to set out urgent actions, such as carbon capture and storage, greenhouse gas removal and the use of sustainable bioenergy to meet the greenhouse gas reduction targets of the 4th and 5th Carbon Budgets. In this study, we identify two plausible bioenergy production pathways for bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) based on centralized and distributed energy systems to show what BECCS could look like if deployed by 2050 in Great Britain. The extent of agricultural land available to sustainably produce biomass feedstock in the centralized and distributed energy systems is about 0.39 and 0.5 Mha, providing approximately 5.7 and 7.3 Mt_{DM}/year of biomass respectively. If this land‐use change occurred, bioenergy crops would contribute to reduced agricultural soil GHG emission by 9 and 11 Mt_{CO_{2eq}}/year in the centralized and distributed energy systems respectively. In addition, bioenergy crops can contribute to reduce agricultural soil ammonia emissions and water pollution from soil nitrate leaching, and to increase soil organic carbon stocks. The technical mitigation potentials from BECCS lead to projected CO2 reductions of approximately 18 and 23 Mt_{CO_{2eq}}/year from the centralized and distributed energy systems respectively. This suggests that the domestic supply of sustainable biomass would not allow the emission reduction target of 50 Mt_{CO_{2eq}}/year from BECCS to be met. To meet that target, it would be necessary to produce solid biomass from forest systems on 0.59 or 0.49 Mha, or alternatively to import 8 or 6.6 Mt_{DM/year} of biomass for the centralized and distributed energy system respectively. The spatially explicit results of this study can serve to identify the regional differences in the potential capture of CO_{2} from BECCS, providing the basis for the development of onshore CO_{2} transport infrastructures.

Type: Article
Title: Mitigation potential and environmental impact of centralized versus distributed BECCS with domestic biomass production in Great Britain
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12630
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12630
Language: English
Additional information: © 2019 The Authors. GCB Bioenergy Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: agricultural GHG emissions, BECCS, bioenergy crops, carbon capture and storage, climate mitigation strategy, future energy scenarios, greenhouse gases, land‐use change
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10078953
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