Greenhouse Gas Balances of
Biomass and Bioenergy Systems

Defining the System

To begin assessing the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) benefits of Bioenergy, you must first know what bioenergy is and how it can be converted into useful energy carriers, such as heat, electricity, and biodiesel/bioethanol. Please visit IEA Task 29�s �� to gain a basic background in the field of bioenergy and you can even view a very simple IEA Task 38 and Task 29 CarbonDioxide CO2 Equivalent Calculator.

Energy, CO2, and GHG parameters are the main LCA parameters of interest in GHG accounting and can be further defined as; primary energy inputs, net CO2 savings and GHG emissions � compared to current fossil fuel equivalents. Other, more local environmental concerns, such as deterioration of air quality due to tailpipe emissions are excluded from the scope of GHG accounting, but should be considered in full-scale LCAs.

The next step is deciding how to measure each of these energy and GHG parameters. Fortunately, a standard generic methodology for performing such studies already exists in the form of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) process. Refer to Page 9 of the BIOMITRE Technical Manual for further information.