Highlighting Regional Energy-Economic-Environmental Benefits of Agricultural Bioresources Utilization: An Integrated Model from Life Cycle Perspective

Commentaries and Op-eds July, 2019, Sustainability
Bioenergy utilization is ambitiously being promoted, attributed to its renewable and clean natures. China’s provincial regions have distinct levels of agricultural development, and thus, different levels of agricultural bioresources (ABs) potentials. In this study, an integrated assessment model is developed to quantify the 3E benefits from the life cycle perspective, covering the whole process of energy-oriented ABs utilization. Integrating nine types of ABs and four types of energy conversion modes (direct combustion power generation, gasification power generation, briquette fuel and bioethanol), the model is applied to 31 provincial regions in China to uncover regional features of the 3E benefits. The results showcase that total energy benefits in all regions amount to 100.6 million tons of coal-equivalent, with the most for Henan, Heilongjiang, Shandong, Xinjiang and Jilin and the least for Tibet, Beijing, Shanghai, Qinghai and Hainan. The economic and environmental benefits of regions are consistent with the energy benefits, with a total amount of 10.5 billion USD and 229.2, 1.5 and 2.5 million t CO2, SO2 and NOx mitigations. Energy utilization proportion of ABs, allocation proportion, energy conversion coefficients, net profit coefficient and mitigation coefficients for four modes are the key parameters affecting regional 3E benefits. The results have policy implications on facilitating to reasonable and pertinent regional planning of energy-oriented ABs utilization.

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