This paper presents a methodology for the quantification of the socioeconomic and environmental externalities of the biomass fuel cycle. It is based on the one developed by the ExternE Project of the European Commission, and extended and modified by CIEMAT for a better adaptation to biomass energy systems. The methodology has been applied to a biomass power plant, fueled by Cynara cardunculus, in Southern Spain. The externalities addressed have been macroeconomic effects, employment, CO2 fixation, erosion, non-point source pollution, and health effects caused by atmospheric pollution. Results, although still uncertain, suggest that the net external costs of biomass energy are lower than that of conventional energy sources, what, if taken into account, would make biomass more competitive than it is now.
Keywords: Biomass, electricity production, externalities, assessment
P. Chartier, et al. (eds.) Biomass for energy and the environment. Proceedings of the 9th European Bioenergy Conference. Vol 3, pp 413-418. Elsevier Science Publishers. Copenhagen, Denmark, 24-27 June 1996
Published: June 1996.