Technological Learning in the Energy Sector

Technological Learning in the Energy Sector

Lessons for Policy, Industry and Science

Edited by Martin Junginger, Wilfried van Sark and André Faaij

Technological learning is a key driver behind the improvement of energy technologies and subsequent reduction of production costs. Understanding how and why production costs for energy technologies decline, and whether they will continue to do so in the future, is of crucial importance for policy makers, industrial stakeholders and scientists alike. This timely and informative book therefore provides a comprehensive review of technological development and cost reductions for renewable energy, clean fossil fuel and energy-efficient demand-side technologies.

Chapter 10: Bioenergy

André Faaij and Martin Junginger

Subjects: economics and finance, energy economics, environment, energy policy and regulation, innovation and technology, technology and ict

Extract

André Faaij and Martin Junginger INTRODUCTION Renewable energy sources1 accounted for 12.6 per cent (62 EJ) of the world’s total primary energy demand in 2005. Biomass2 is by far the largest source of renewable energy. Due to its widespread non-commercial use in developing countries, solid biomass is by far the largest renewable energy source, representing some 10 per cent of the world primary energy mix, and is still by far the most widely used renewable energy source (Figure 10.1) covering some three-quarters of global renewable energy supply. While bioenergy represents a mere 3 per cent of primary energy in industrialized countries, it accounts for 22 per cent of the energy mix in developing countries, where it contributes largely to domestic heating and cooking, mostly in simple, inefficient stoves. After wind energy, the non-solid biomass combustible renewables and waste (such as renewable municipal waste, biogas and liquid biomass) display the second highest growth rate, growing on average at 8.2 per cent annually since 1990. Solid biomass (which is the largest contributor to renewable energy in the world) has experienced the slowest growth among the renewable energy sources, growing only 1.5 per cent per year. The bulk of solid biomass (86.6 per cent) is produced and consumed in non-OECD regions, where developing countries, situated mainly in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, use non-commercial biomass for residential cooking and heating. Africa, which consumed about 5.3 per cent of world TPES in 2005, produced 26.2 per cent of the world’s solid biomass supply. Energy...

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