Maximising sustainability trade-offs of bioenergy deployment and scale-up to enable innovation, economic growth and societal benefits

Bioenergy is widely included in energy strategies for its greenhouse gas mitigation potential. Deployment at scale will have domestic and international sustainability risks. Previously, the Supergen Bioenergy Hub mapped the sustainability impacts of 16 different bioenergy cases, demonstrating common socio-economic and environmental benefits and economic, investment and up-scaling risks. Given the system dynamics and trade-offs, a static sustainability assessment is inappropriate, and an alternative approach is needed. This will be done by:

  • Assessing sustainability implications and trade-offs, including environmental, economic, and social aspects of bioenergy systems
  • Evaluating the performance of business model innovation and the value it will create for stakeholders and end-users
  • Assessing the impacts of policies on industry and society, including how these contribute to net zero targets and the social contract for energy resilience
  • Investigating how policy mechanisms would impact future bioenergy deployment and upscale in the UK.

The research will deliver a deep understanding of system dynamics and support sustainable business models and decision-making at different governance levels across industry, policy and the public. The framework can then support social contracts for net zero, sustainability, job and skills development, and impact on short- and long-term energy resilience, including energy security, access and cost.

This project is led by Mirjam Röder.