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Combining an accelerated deployment of bioenergy and land use strategies: Review and insights for a post-conflict scenario in Colombia

By M. A. Gonzalez Salazar, M. Venturini, W. R. Poganietz, M. Finkenrath and M. R. L. V. Leal


After a 50-year armed conflict, negotiations with guerrilla groups are likely to lead to peace agreements in Colombia. A post-conflict context would open up the possibility of modernizing agriculture, improving living standards in rural areas and making good use of the vast natural resources. Sustainable bioenergy combined with improved land use strategies is of particular interest in this context. However, while bioenergy is today the second largest renewable resource after hydropower, no official plans exist for exploiting it in a post-conflict context. Our study investigates the impacts that an accelerated deployment of bioenergy could have in Colombia until 2030, under different land use pathways. Firstly, we review the country's socioeconomic, land use, energy and emissions context. Then, we identify lessons that Colombia could learn from Brazil to accomplish the proposed targets. Secondly, we explore various scenarios deploying different technologies (bioethanol, biodiesel, renewable diesel, biomethane and biomass-based power generation & CHP) and land use pathways that are likely to be implemented in a post-conflict scenario (zero deforestation, agricultural intensification and extensification). Thirdly, we analyze variations in energy demand and supply, greenhouse gas emissions, land use change and biofuel trade. We find that biomethane and biomass-based power generation & CHP could reduce emissions more effectively than first-generation biofuels. However, their abatement is only 5% relative to a baseline scenario. Combining all bioenergy technologies with zero deforestation, agricultural intensification and extensification could boost abatements up to 280%, a value four times higher than the national commitments by 2030. Our study shows that relatively simpler land use and energy models using free software can produce results of quality comparable to more complex and widely accepted models (e.g. IAMs). These results might be helpful to policymakers evaluating the role of bioenergy in a post-conflict context and to other developing countries with significant bioenergy potential and similar conditions

Topics: Agricultural intensification, Bioenergy, Biofuels, Deforestation, Energy modeling, Energy policy, Greenhouse gas emissions, Land use change, Post-conflict.
Year: 2017
DOI identifier: 10.1016/j.rser.2017.01.082
OAI identifier: oai:iris.unife.it:11392/2370442
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