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Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS): finding the win-wins for energy, negative emissions, and ecosystem services – size matters

Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS): finding the win-wins for energy, negative emissions, and ecosystem services – size matters
Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS): finding the win-wins for energy, negative emissions, and ecosystem services – size matters
Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) features heavily in the energy scenarios designed to meet the Paris Agreement targets, but the models used to generate these scenarios do not address environmental and social implications of BECCS at the regional scale. We integrate ecosystem service values into a land-use optimisation tool to determine the favourability of six potential UK locations for a 500 MW BECCS power plant operating on local biomass resources. Annually, each BECCS plant requires 2.33 Mt of biomass and generates 2.99 Mt CO2 of negative emissions and 3.72 TWh of electricity. We make three important discoveries: (i) the impacts of BECCS on ecosystem services are spatially discrete, with the most favourable locations for UK BECCS identified at Drax and Easington, where net annual welfare values (from the basket of ecosystems serives quantified) of £39 million and £25 million were generated respectively, with notably lower annual welfare values at Barrow (- £6 million) and Thames (£2 million); (ii) larger BECCS deployment beyond 500 MW reduces net social welfare values, with a 1 GW BECCS plant at Drax generating a net annual welfare value of £19 million (a 50% decline compared with the 500 MW deployment), and a welfare loss at all other sites; (iii) BECCS can be deployed to generate net welfare gains, but trade-offs and co-benefits between ecosystem services are highly site and context specific, and these landscape-scale, site-specific impacts should be central to future BECCS policy developments. For the UK, meeting the Paris Agreement targets through reliance on BECCS requires over 1 GW at each of the six locations considered here and is likely, therefore, to result in a significant welfare loss. This implies that an increased number of smaller BECCS deployments will be needed to ensure a win-win for energy, negative emissions, and ecosystem services.
1757-1693
586-604
Donnison, Caspar
70f4ab0b-e43e-4fae-8f80-9a5fa4e5d737
Holland, Robert
9c245e65-06bb-4b0e-8214-2b00ad2a47df
Hastings, Astley
6ce7681f-42ba-4778-9843-b47da761edb5
Armstrong, Lindsay-Marie
db493663-2457-4f84-9646-15538c653998
Eigenbrod, Felix
43efc6ae-b129-45a2-8a34-e489b5f05827
Taylor, Gail
f3851db9-d37c-4c36-8663-e5c2cb03e171
Donnison, Caspar
70f4ab0b-e43e-4fae-8f80-9a5fa4e5d737
Holland, Robert
9c245e65-06bb-4b0e-8214-2b00ad2a47df
Hastings, Astley
6ce7681f-42ba-4778-9843-b47da761edb5
Armstrong, Lindsay-Marie
db493663-2457-4f84-9646-15538c653998
Eigenbrod, Felix
43efc6ae-b129-45a2-8a34-e489b5f05827
Taylor, Gail
f3851db9-d37c-4c36-8663-e5c2cb03e171

Donnison, Caspar, Holland, Robert, Hastings, Astley, Armstrong, Lindsay-Marie, Eigenbrod, Felix and Taylor, Gail (2020) Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS): finding the win-wins for energy, negative emissions, and ecosystem services – size matters. Global Change Biology Bioenergy, 12 (8), 586-604. (doi:10.1111/gcbb.12695).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Bioenergy with Carbon Capture and Storage (BECCS) features heavily in the energy scenarios designed to meet the Paris Agreement targets, but the models used to generate these scenarios do not address environmental and social implications of BECCS at the regional scale. We integrate ecosystem service values into a land-use optimisation tool to determine the favourability of six potential UK locations for a 500 MW BECCS power plant operating on local biomass resources. Annually, each BECCS plant requires 2.33 Mt of biomass and generates 2.99 Mt CO2 of negative emissions and 3.72 TWh of electricity. We make three important discoveries: (i) the impacts of BECCS on ecosystem services are spatially discrete, with the most favourable locations for UK BECCS identified at Drax and Easington, where net annual welfare values (from the basket of ecosystems serives quantified) of £39 million and £25 million were generated respectively, with notably lower annual welfare values at Barrow (- £6 million) and Thames (£2 million); (ii) larger BECCS deployment beyond 500 MW reduces net social welfare values, with a 1 GW BECCS plant at Drax generating a net annual welfare value of £19 million (a 50% decline compared with the 500 MW deployment), and a welfare loss at all other sites; (iii) BECCS can be deployed to generate net welfare gains, but trade-offs and co-benefits between ecosystem services are highly site and context specific, and these landscape-scale, site-specific impacts should be central to future BECCS policy developments. For the UK, meeting the Paris Agreement targets through reliance on BECCS requires over 1 GW at each of the six locations considered here and is likely, therefore, to result in a significant welfare loss. This implies that an increased number of smaller BECCS deployments will be needed to ensure a win-win for energy, negative emissions, and ecosystem services.

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Donnison et al - Finding the win-wins for bioenergy with CCS - Accepted Manuscript
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Accepted/In Press date: 18 April 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 29 June 2020
Published date: August 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 441869
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/441869
ISSN: 1757-1693
PURE UUID: 3d2e4466-61b3-4dc1-bff3-9da6860e1524
ORCID for Robert Holland: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3038-9227
ORCID for Felix Eigenbrod: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8982-824X
ORCID for Gail Taylor: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8470-6390

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Date deposited: 30 Jun 2020 16:38
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:19

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