TEMPERATURE AND ENERGY SECURITY: WILL FOREST BIOMASS HELP IN THE FUTURE?
Favero, A., Yoo, J., Daigneault, A., & Baker, J. (2023, June 1). CLIMATE CHANGE ECONOMICS.
Despite the numerous technical, logistical, and policy challenges associated with the use of bioenergy to mitigate climate change, the latest IPCC report identifies bioenergy as a high-value and large-scale mitigation option to support the transition to a cleaner energy system. This paper links a climate-economic-energy model and a land model to measure the net mitigation effect of using forest biomass for electricity generation and corresponding implications on global temperature. Through the soft-link, the energy model provides to the land model the cost-effective regional consumption of forest biomass under nine carbon price scenarios and measures the effects of its use on fossil fuel emissions and carbon sequestered in carbon capture and storage (CCS). The land model provides the dynamic supply of forest biomass and measures the change in land management/use under each demand scenario and corresponding changes in carbon sequestered in forests. Results suggest that forest biomass should be part of global mitigation efforts despite the expected small share of electricity sourced from it. The net climate benefits of forest biomass energy vary across scenarios and temporally — in most scenarios increased biomass demand results in near term reductions in global forest carbon stocks, but at carbon prices starting at $40/tCO 2 e or greater, results show positive net sequestration by 2030. This increased sequestration, coupled with energy emissions displacement and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) implies substantial long-term mitigation potential for forest biomass energy. Our results suggest that high forest biomass demand pathways could also help reduce the magnitude of future temperature growth. Further, we explore the regional effects on energy security of using forest biomass. Results show that its use can have potential large effects on trade dynamics and regional energy security issues, with 4 of the 17 global regions found to be net exporters of forest biomass.