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WIREs Energy Environ.
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The climate effect of increased forest bioenergy use in Sweden: evaluation at different spatial and temporal scales

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Bioenergy from boreal forests managed for productive purposes (e.g., pulp, timber) is commonly held to offer attractive options for climate change mitigation. However, this view has been challenged in recent years. Carbon balances, cumulative radiative forcing, and average global temperature change have been calculated for a variety of bioenergy management regimes in Swedish forests, and the results support the view that an increased use of forest biomass for energy in Sweden can contribute to climate change mitigation, although methodological (e.g., spatial scales) and parameter value choices influence the results significantly. We show that the climate effect of forest‐based bioenergy depends on the forest ecosystems and management, including biomass extraction for bioenergy and other products, and how this management changes in response to anticipated market demands; and on the energy system effects, which determine the fossil carbon displacement and other greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation effects of using forest biomass for bioenergy and other purposes. The public and private sectors are advised to consider information from comprehensive analyses that provide insights about energy and forest systems in the context of evolving forest product markets, alternative policy options, and energy technology pathways in their decision‐making processes. WIREs Energy Environ 2016, 5:351–369. doi: 10.1002/wene.178 This article is categorized under: Bioenergy > Climate and Environment
Climate effects of the fossil and biomass‐based systems at the landscape level. (a) CRF for the fossil and biomass‐based systems; (b) ΔT for the fossil and biomass‐based systems. Negative values correspond to cooling. Each line represents the net difference between the bioenergy‐adapted scenarios and the reference scenario, i.e., BIO1: 80% slash removal; BIO2: 80% slash + 50% stumps removals; BIO1+: as BIO1 but with enhanced growth and additional stemwood used for bioenergy; BIO2+: as BIO2 but with enhanced growth and additional stemwood used for bioenergy; BIO2+s: as BIO2 but with enhanced growth and additional sawtimber used for sawnwood and the rest for bioenergy.
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Climate effects of the fossil and biomass‐based systems at the landscape level. (a) Net CRF; (b) Net ΔT. Negative values correspond to cooling. Each line represents the net difference between the bioenergy‐adapted scenarios and the reference scenario, i.e., BIO1: 80% slash removal; BIO2: 80% slash + 50% stumps removals; BIO1+: as BIO1 but with enhanced growth and additional stemwood used for bioenergy; BIO2+: as BIO2 but with enhanced growth and additional stemwood used for bioenergy; BIO2+s: as BIO2 but with enhanced growth and additional sawtimber used for sawnwood and the rest for bioenergy.
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Net C stock (BIO‐REF) in Skellefteå (Skea), Östersund (Osund), and Göteborg (Gbg) with bioenergy displacing NG or coal.
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Net C stock (BIO‐REF) in forest pools and in the harvested biomass in Skellefteå (Skea), Östersund (Osund), and Göteborg (Gbg).
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Net C stock comparison between the forest scenarios, for NG and Coal scenarios at the landscape level. Each line represents the net difference between the bioenergy‐adapted scenarios and the reference scenario, i.e., BIO1: 80% slash removal; BIO2: 80% slash + 50% stumps removal; BIO1+: as BIO1 but with enhanced growth and additional stemwood used for bioenergy; BIO2+: as BIO2 but with enhanced growth and additional stemwood used for bioenergy; BIO2+s: as BIO2 but with enhanced growth and additional sawtimber used for sawnwood and the rest for bioenergy.
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Net C stock comparison between the forest scenarios, for NG scenario at the stand level. The BIO1 (80% slash removal) and BIO2 (80% slash and 50% stumps removal) curves are identical until the first final felling when the first stump extraction event takes place in BIO2.
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C stock in the different pools at the stand level for (a) BIO1 (stemwood and 80% slash removal) with bioenergy displacing NG and (b) REF (stemwood removal). (c) Net C stock effect of shifting from REF to BIO1.
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Conversion from one forest management regime to a new one in the forest landscape.
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Model description.
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