Our task contributes to the development and analysis of bioenergy solutions that can provide flexible resources for a low-carbon energy system. The objective is to improve understanding on the types, quality and status of flexible bioenergy, and identification of barriers and future development needs in the context of the entire energy system.
Our work is divided into four work packages that together address the main objectives of the task:
WP1 – Flexible bioenergy concepts for supporting low-carbon energy systems,
WP2 – Acceleration of implementation,
WP3 – System requirements for bioenergy concepts, and
WP4 – Intertask projects and collaborative projects.
The task is based on the work done in IEA Bioenergy Task 41 special projects during 2016-17: Project 5: Bio-CCUS in climate change mitigation and extended use of biomass raw material, Project 6: Bioenergy in balancing the grid & providing storage options and Project 7: Bioenergy RES hybrids. As a common conclusion from these projects, bioenergy has some unique properties that can address many of the problems related to the rapid transition to a low-carbon energy system. Three different development pathways identified in Project 6 have been further developed for the purpose of this task: When sustainably sourced and used, bioenergy can
- operate as a key element in the coupling of different energy sectors;
- provide low-carbon energy to complement wind and solar (residual load and grid stabilisation);
- store electricity chemically into fuels to enable more efficient use of wind and solar;
- provide sustainable fuels for sectors where other decarbonisation options are not available or exceedingly expensive;
- provide high temperature heat to industry, and low temperature heat for buildings (and sanitary water) during dark and cold seasons;
- coproduce heat, electricity, fuels and other products in a single high-efficiency processing plant.
Achieving these objectives requires a fundamental shift in the way bioenergy is being used, but there is currently a limited understanding on the details of such change.