Environmental impacts associated with the use of fossil fuels, rising prices, potential limitations in supply and concerns about regional and national security are driving the development and use of biomass for bioenergy, biofuels and bioproducts. However, the use of biomass does not automatically imply that its production, conversion and use are sustainable. Conflicts between various ecosystem services (economic production of food, fodder and fuels, biodiversity, social and cultural values, etc.) that are provided by fertile land are increasing as well. Hence, a developed thinking on how to balance between these services is desirable. There is a significant amount of information available on biofuels and their sustainability. In this paper, different initiatives and sustainability criteria for biofuels are presented and assessed. 35 criteria were found in emerging sustainability assessment frameworks. The majority of 12 criteria were focused on environmental issues, 4 were social and only 1 was economic. Energy balance and greenhouse gas balance were perceived as especially critical, social criteria ranked generally low. Although being perceived as important, food security ranked very low.

Contact Information
Contact Person: 
A. Markevičius
Contact Organization: 
Lithuanian Energy Institute Laboratory of Renewable Energy
Publication Information
Author: 
A. Markevičius
V. Katinas
E. Perednis
M. Tamašauskienė
Publication Year: 
2010
DOE Information
Bioenergy Category: