Bioenergy: Project Screening

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Here you find a summary of the chapter of the UN-Energy Bioenergy Decision Support Tool (DST). The complete chapte can be found here.


Decisions on the allocation of land and granting operating licenses to bioenergy investments (inter alia those funded by international investors) become a more and more important theme for government authorities. Many of the same questions, which arose in the bioenergy strategy, need to be considered in order to make an informed and responsible decision on whether to go ahead with a particular investment project or what types of conditions to include in the eventual license agreement or how to form and implement a publicly funded bioenergy investment project. This section will examine the decision process for reviewing project proposals in order to fit the national bioenergy strategy with concrete projects.

Defining the Project Proposals

The project proposals for a bioenergy project should define key elements of the project: Location, size, infrastructure required, preliminary cost estimates and so on. A clear outline should be presented by the project proponent. A detailed outline is even more important when dealing with the risks of irreversible ecological and environmental damages. The key issues of defining appropriate and comprehensive project proposals are reviewed in this section.

Evaluating Compability with Bioenergy Strategy

Forming a bioenergy project proposal can be an opportunity to initialize a bioenergy strategy by illustrating institutional capacity needs and moving towards a more structured process. This section analyzes how a proposed project and a bioenergy strategy interact with each other and how they can reinforce or compensate each other.

Stakeholder Processes

A variety of stakeholders will work on design, approval and sometimes implementation of a bioenergy project. This section focuses on guidance on stakeholder processes and organization, being the most relevant aspects for design, review and approval of a project. A brief discussion is included on project stakeholder identification, organization and engagement.

Impact Assessment

In order to prevent unsustainable bioenergy projects from occurring, the project proposals should undergo an assessment of project impacts, which is more detailed than the initial screening. Evaluation of the risks and opportunities that arise from these impacts can show potential need for mitigation actions. Relevant impacts in the context of bioenergy projects can be related to food security, biodiversity, climate change and natural resource use.

Financial Viability

When looking at the costs of a project, many factors have to be included into the estimation of financial viability. Possible additional costs like mitigation costs or compensation payments as well as potential start-up costs or costs caused by training can increase expenditures of hard currency. Investment risks, GHG mitigation projects and related types of financing are briefly summarized in this section.

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