12 Dec 2017

IEA Technology Roadmap: Delivering Sustainable Bioenergy

This publication (Technology roadmap. Delivering sustainable bioenergy) is part of the new cycle of IEA Technology Roadmaps, a series that looks at the long term vision for clean energy technologies and offers guidance on the near-term priorities and key steps to accelerating technology development and deployment.

In addition to this Roadmap, the International Energy Agency has published the How2Guide for Bioenergy  which was jointly developed by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) as a toolbox that can be used for both planning and implementing new bioenergy strategies, or to improve existing ones.

At a more specific level and emphasizing the more technical aspects, the IEA Bioenergy has prepared two reports that address the role of bioenergy in the stability of the electricity grid and the hybrid systems in which bioenergy participates:

  • Bioenergy’s role in balancing the electricity grid and providing storage options – an EU perspective (IEA Bioenergy) (2017). The objective of this report is to identify those areas in the grid system where bioenergy in balancing the grid and providing storage options can play a strategic role, and to promote the commercialization of a diverse set of such bioenergy applications and processes. In addition, the report seeks to identify and disseminate sound business models for practical, cost-effective and environmentally friendly ways to facilitate the transformation of the electricity grid based to a great extent on bioenergy technologies. 

  • Integrated Bioenergy Hybrids-Flexible renewable energy solutions (IEA Bioenergy) (2017). This report examines integrated bioenergy hybrids, which are energy conversion processes that have at least two energy inputs, one of which is bioenergy. The term RES (renewable energy source) hybrid can also be used, if all energy inputs are from renewable sources. The report finds that, in general, bioenergy technologies allow fairly wide operational windows and steep ramping gradients, which provide good starting points for integration with variable energy sources, although some additional costs can also be expected as a result of flexible operation.