Biobased materials may help to achieve a renewable, circular economy, but their impact could be similar to those of non-renewable materials. In the case of biofuels, the indirect land use change (ILUC) effects determine whether they can provide sustainability benefits compared to fossil fuels. ILUC modeling estimates have large uncertainties, making them difficult to include in a policy aiming at reducing environmental impacts. The Renewable Energy Directive (RED) II reduced ILUC estimate uncertainties by shifting the focus from ILUC environmental impacts to ILUC risk. Nevertheless, this does not take into account either certifiable additionality practices to reduce the ILUC risk for the production of biobased materials, or biobased materials other than biofuels. Here we propose a simple, user-friendly tool to bridge the gap between ILUC modeling and policy, by estimating the ILUC risk of biobased material production and to assess by how much different additionality practices can reduce that risk at different levels of the value chain. This was done by explicitly including the additionality practices in an ILUC model, simplifying the model to a spreadsheet tool that relates automatically the input provided by the user, which may be a producer or a policy maker, with a certain ILUC risk. We demonstrate the functioning of the tool on two examples: maize production in Iowa and in Romania. In Iowa, maize production is already very intensive, so the additionality practices proposed have little effect on its ILUC risk category, and the low-ILUC-risk-produced maize would amount to 0.03 t ha−1 year−1. In Romania there is ample margin for implementation of additionality practices, and thus a large potential to reduce the ILUC risk category of maize production, with low-ILUC-risk-produced maize amounting to 0.19 t ha−1 year −1.

Bridging Modeling and Certification to Evaluate Low-ILUC-Risk Practices for Biobased Materials with a User-Friendly Tool

Enrico Balugani
Primo
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Diego Marazza
Penultimo
;
2022

Abstract

Biobased materials may help to achieve a renewable, circular economy, but their impact could be similar to those of non-renewable materials. In the case of biofuels, the indirect land use change (ILUC) effects determine whether they can provide sustainability benefits compared to fossil fuels. ILUC modeling estimates have large uncertainties, making them difficult to include in a policy aiming at reducing environmental impacts. The Renewable Energy Directive (RED) II reduced ILUC estimate uncertainties by shifting the focus from ILUC environmental impacts to ILUC risk. Nevertheless, this does not take into account either certifiable additionality practices to reduce the ILUC risk for the production of biobased materials, or biobased materials other than biofuels. Here we propose a simple, user-friendly tool to bridge the gap between ILUC modeling and policy, by estimating the ILUC risk of biobased material production and to assess by how much different additionality practices can reduce that risk at different levels of the value chain. This was done by explicitly including the additionality practices in an ILUC model, simplifying the model to a spreadsheet tool that relates automatically the input provided by the user, which may be a producer or a policy maker, with a certain ILUC risk. We demonstrate the functioning of the tool on two examples: maize production in Iowa and in Romania. In Iowa, maize production is already very intensive, so the additionality practices proposed have little effect on its ILUC risk category, and the low-ILUC-risk-produced maize would amount to 0.03 t ha−1 year−1. In Romania there is ample margin for implementation of additionality practices, and thus a large potential to reduce the ILUC risk category of maize production, with low-ILUC-risk-produced maize amounting to 0.19 t ha−1 year −1.
2022
Enrico Balugani; Beike Sumfleth; Stefan Majer; Diego Marazza; Daniela Thrän
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/861914
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