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Publications, Reports & Research

Our publications, reports and research library hosts over 500 specialist reports and research papers on all topics associated with CCS.

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REN21’s Renewables Global Status Report provides a comprehensive and timely overview of renewable energy market, industry, investment, and policy developments worldwide. It enables policymakers, industry, investors, and civil society to make informed decisions.

The report covers recent developments, current status, and key trends; by design, it does not provide analysis or forecast.

The Renewables Global Status Report relies on up-to-date renewable energy data, provided by an international network of more than 500 contributors, researchers, and authors.

 

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Forest biomass for energy in the EU: current trends, carbon balance and sustainable potential
Forest biomass for energy in the EU: current trends, carbon balance and sustainable potential

1st May 2014

Organisation(s): European Forest Institute, International Institute for Sustainability Analysis and Strategy, Joanneum Research

Topic(s): Biofuels / Bioenergy, Renewables

Forest biomass for energy in the EU: current trends, carbon balance and sustainable potential describes a study that aimed to clarify possibilities and implications of woody bioenergy supply for the natural environment and climate for the European Union by 2020 and 2030.

The study estimated the amount of forest-derived and woody biomass that could be sustainably supplied for energy uses without compromising material uses of wood. Particular attention was given to the biodiversity and GHG emissions implications of woody bioenergy supply.

The role of sustainable woody bioenergy in the future EU energy system was analysed for electricity, heat and transport fuels, taking into account the potentials for energy efficiency, and non-bioenergy renewables.

This final report was commissioned by BirdLife Europe, European Environmental Bureau (EEB), and Transport & Environment. The publication is co-authored by International Institute for Sustainability Analysis and Strategy (IINAS), European Forest Institute (EFI) and Joanneum Research (JR).

 

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Space for energy crops – assessing the potential contribution to Europe’s energy future
Space for energy crops – assessing the potential contribution to Europe’s energy future

1st May 2014

Organisation(s): Institute for European Environmental Policy

Topic(s): Biofuels / Bioenergy, Renewables

The Institute for European Environmental Policy produced this report for BirdLife Europe, European Environmental Bureau, and Transport & Environment.

The focus of this report is on the potential for further energy crop production from dedicated crops in Europe on land not already used for food production, forestry, or other uses of social value, including nature conservation. There is already production of crops for energy purposes in Europe, including oilseed rape for biodiesel. But this report addresses how much additional production might be achieved, given the limitations in land availability that the authors have assumed.

 

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This report focuses on bioenergy in Africa, as this form of renewable energy represents almost 50% of the total primary energy supply for the African continent, and more than 60% of the Sub-Saharan TPES. Bioenergy is a strategic asset for Africa’s energy future and needs to be assessed in a transparent manner.

At IRENA’s behest, the German Biomass Research Centre has collected recent studies assessing bioenergy potential in Africa, compared their various methodologies, benchmarked the results, and identified the key dimensioning elements for those assessments.

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Biobutanol as a potential sustainable biofuel – assessment of lignocellulosic and waste-based feedstocks
Biobutanol as a potential sustainable biofuel – assessment of lignocellulosic and waste-based feedstocks

15th April 2013

Organisation(s): International Centre for Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems

Topic(s): Biofuels / Bioenergy, Renewables

This paper, from Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems, introduces the production process of an alternative transportation biofuel, biobutanol.

European legislation concerning biofuels and their sustainability criteria are also briefly described. The need to develop methods to ensure more sustainable and efficient biofuel production processes is recommended. In addition, the assessment method to evaluate the sustainability of biofuels is considered and sustainability assessment of selected feedstocks for biobutanol production is performed. The benefits and potential of using lignocellulosic and waste materials as feedstocks in the biobutanol production process are also discussed. Sustainability assessment in this paper includes cultivation, harvest/collection and upstream processing (pretreatment) of feedstocks, comparing four main biomass sources: food crops, non-food crops, food industry by-product and wood-based biomass. It can be concluded that the highest sustainable potential in Finland is when biobutanol production is integrated into pulp & paper mills.

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Sustainable biofuels: addressing indirect land use change
Sustainable biofuels: addressing indirect land use change

1st March 2013

Organisation(s): European Parliament

Topic(s): Biofuels / Bioenergy, Domestic policy, Law and regulation, Policy, Renewables

This report outlines the outcomes of a European Parliament workshop held in Brussels on 20 February 2013, hosted by Directorate-General for Internal Policies. The workshop consisted of an exchange of views with representatives of EU institutions, research institutes, biofuels industry, NGOs and other stakeholders. The first part presented the European Commission's proposal and provided scientific input on the assessment of the impacts of indirect land-use change (ILUC). The second part introduced policy options and future perspectives from the point of view of industry and NGOs.

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Algal lipid extraction and upgrading to hydrocarbons technology pathway
Algal lipid extraction and upgrading to hydrocarbons technology pathway

1st March 2013

Organisation(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Topic(s): Biofuels / Bioenergy, Renewables

The United State’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are undertaking studies of biomass conversion technologies to identify barriers and target research toward reducing conversion costs.

This technology pathway case investigates the cultivation of algal biomass followed by further lipid extraction and upgrading to hydrocarbon biofuels. Technical barriers and key research needs have been assessed in order for the algal lipid extraction and upgrading pathway to be competitive with petroleum-derived gasoline-, diesel-, and jet-range hydrocarbon blendstocks.

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Strategic research and innovation agenda for renewable heating & cooling
Strategic research and innovation agenda for renewable heating & cooling

1st March 2013

Organisation(s): European Union, The European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling

Topic(s): Biofuels / Bioenergy, Geothermal energy, Renewables, Solar energy

The European Technology Platform on Renewable Heating and Cooling produced this document to address the short, medium and longer term research and development needs in the field of renewable heating and cooling technologies. The authors identify research priorities for biomass, geothermal, solar thermal and cross cutting technologies. This document sets out the likely directions of technological and organisational changes that will need to be converted into specific research activities over the next years. Furthermore, it aims to facilitate the coordination of other research programmes in and between member states. 

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Renewable energy progress and biofuels sustainability
Renewable energy progress and biofuels sustainability

1st October 2012

Organisation(s): Ecofys, European Commission

Topic(s): Biofuels / Bioenergy, Renewables

A consortium led by Ecofys was contracted by the European Commission to perform support activities concerning the assessment of progress in renewable energy and sustainability of biofuels.

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Renewable electricity futures study. Volume 2: renewable electricity generation and storage technologies
Renewable electricity futures study. Volume 2: renewable electricity generation and storage technologies

1st June 2012

Organisation(s): National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

Topic(s): Biofuels / Bioenergy, Geothermal energy, Hydroelectricity, Marine energy, Renewables, Solar energy, Wind energy

The Renewable Electricity Futures Study (RE Futures) is an initial investigation of the extent to which renewable energy supply can meet the electricity demands of the contiguous United States over the next several decades. This volume - Volume 2 - describes the renewable generation and storage technologies included in the study. Each technology is introduced, followed by estimates of resource availability, a characterisation of the technology, a list of output characteristics and grid service possibilities, a description of deployment, and a discussion of barriers and issues.

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Review of the generation costs and deployment potential of renewable electricity technologies in the UK
Review of the generation costs and deployment potential of renewable electricity technologies in the UK

1st October 2011

Organisation(s): Arup, Department of Energy and Climate Change, UK Government

Topic(s): Biofuels / Bioenergy, Economics, Fuel switching, Geothermal energy, Hydroelectricity, Marine energy, Renewables, Solar energy, Wind energy

Arup was appointed by the United Kingdom’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in October 2010 to look at the deployment potential and generation costs of renewable electricity technologies in the UK up to 2030, taking into account sensitivities as to the range of cost inputs, investor behaviour and barriers to deployment. Arup was supported on cost data gathering exercises for some technologies by Ernst and Young (E&Y).

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Energy security and economics of Indian Biofuel Strategy in a global context
Energy security and economics of Indian Biofuel Strategy in a global context

1st August 2011

Organisation(s): Asian Development Bank (ADB)

Topic(s): Biofuels / Bioenergy, Economics, Law and regulation, Policy, Renewables

This paper - part of the ADB Economics Working Paper Series - examines India’s options for managing energy price risk in three ways: biofuel development, energy efficiency promotion, and food productivity improvements. The overall results suggest that biodiesel shows promise as a transport fuel substitute that can be produced in ways that fully utilize marginal agricultural resources and hence promote rural livelihoods. First-generation bioethanol, by contrast, appears to have a limited ability to offset the impacts of oil price hikes. Combining the biodiesel expansion policy with energy efficiency improvements and food productivity increases proved to be a more effective strategy to enhance both energy and food security, help mitigate climate change, and cushion the economy against oil price shocks.

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