Assessment of the sustainability guidelines of EU Renewable Energy Directive : the case of biorefineries
Luzardo, Nathalie Marquez
Faculty of Sciences. Bioscience Engineering
Science citation index
Journal of cleaner production / Masson. - Science citation index
, p. 61-70
Sustainability guidelines can help to safeguard the sustainable use of biological materials. When these guidelines are legally prescribed, their influence on the economic viability of bioenergy, biofuel and bioliquid projects is increased substantially, through their impact on national subsidy regimes and international trade. One of the key examples is the European directive 2009/28/EC, or the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), and the related COM/2010/11 that integrate guidelines for calculating greenhouse gas impact for various bioenergy pathways. This paper looks further into the sustainability results when influenced by principal decisions that are legally open for debate. Therefore, a concise review is conducted of the legal state-of-the-art on whether a product is waste or not. The review pinpoints uncertainty, leading to four potential legal scenarios. The sustainability of a complex biorefinery is analysed for each scenario. The results show (i) a high sensitivity to the principal decisions on the nature of waste materials in the scenarios, and (ii) to the definition of boundaries between the processes. More detailed rules for the application of the RED guidelines are needed, and should be complemented with methods specifically targeting all relevant sustainability aspects, thereby enhancing the overall understanding of the sustainability of the process. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.