IEA Bioenergy Task "GHG Balances"

Participation in the investigation net of the IEA Bioenergy to greenhouse gas balance of biomass and bioenergetics systems as well as coordination of the Austrian participation in IEA Bioenergy.

Short Description




The main objective of the Task is, to calculate greenhouse gas (GHG) balances of selected biomass and bioenergy systems by applying and improving the existing standard methodology. Other topics are the carbon sequestration in connection with land use change and material substitution like concrete by harvested wood products. In comparison with fossil energy systems and conventional materials, potential GHG benefits, which are based on an increased use of biomass resources, is documented. In that way the task supports decision makers in implementing programs to limit emissions or enhance removals of GHG. The Task contributes explicitly to the main scope of the program "Energiesysteme der Zukunft", which aims to develop an energy-efficient and flexible energy system with an increased use of renewables. The Task is a network project which encourages the cooperation of researchers in all participating countries, 13 countries in the last period. The following main topics have been treated in the period 2004 - 2006:

  • Development of the software tool BIOMITRE (joint Task38 and EU project) for analysing the GHG balance, the emissions-saving and the cost-effectiveness of biomass energy technologies, and development of a simple online GHG calculator for biomass CHP systems, both available on the Task 38 website;
  • Other methodological work within the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), e.g. "Review Editor" der "2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Agriculture, Forestry and the Land Use (AFOLU)";
  • Analyzing integrated systems of bioenergy and biomaterials regarding their GHG mitigation effects, mainly in connection with case studies;
  • Finalizing the work on case studies of the period 2001 - 2003;
  • Conducting new case studies for 2004 - 2006 by applying the standard methodology on innovative biomass and bioenergy systems (e.g. forest and agricultural residues, biogas by crops), including developing countries (JI and CDM based projects);
  • Updating of the "country reports"
  • Preparation of joint position papers and publications;
  • Organization of 4 international task workshops and meetings;
  • Documentation of essential task work on the website

Based on these topics 5 work packages (WP) have been defined and realized for Austria:

  • WP1: Participation in the Ececutive Committee of IEA Bioenergy and Austrian coordination (6 meetings);
  • WP2: Preparation of Austrian reports for the "BMVIT" (2 annual reports and one for all 3 years on national Task activities)
  • WP3: Dissemination and public relation activities in Austria (one presentation per year in the "Bioenergiefachgespr√§che", one half day national Task Meeting with exchange of information on a specific Task topic, other basic activities such as national email list for sharing information on task activities, articles in Austrian newsletters;
  • WP4: Preparation for and participation in the international Task 38 Workshops and Business Meetings (a summary was prepared and disseminated to the national task team);
  • WP5: Austrian participation in the task work program: Update of the Austrian Country Report, participation in Task 38 work program and publications, planning of an Austrian Case Study on an innovative bioenergy system (Biogas plant Paldau with a closed storage for the digested material, using dedicated crops and animal manure); integration of Austrian information into the Task website.

Task 38 is continuing in the period 2007 - 2009. The new topics (e.g. methodology for calculation CO2 reduction costs, LCA of biofuels, new case studies) are for Austria of high scientific and economic interest.

Project Partners


Mag. Susanne Woess-Gallasch
Joanneum Research

Contact Address

Mag. Susanne Woess-Gallasch
Joanneum Research
Elisabethstrasse 5
A-8010 Graz
Tel.: +43 (0)316/876-1330
Fax: +43 (0)316/876-91330