Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) can act as a negative emission technology and is considered crucial in many climate change mitigation pathways that limit global warming to 1.5-2°C. The negative emission potential of BECCS has, however, not been rigorously assessed. Here, we perform a global spatially-explicit analysis of life-cycle GHG emissions for lignocellulosic crop-based BECCS.
We show that negative emissions strongly depend on biomass cultivation location, treatment of original vegetation, final energy carrier produced, and evaluation period considered. We find a global potential of 28 EJ/year for electricity with negative emissions, sequestering 2.5 Gtonne CO2/year when accounting emissions over 30 years, which increases to 220 EJ/year and 40 Gtonne CO2/year over 80 years. We show that BECCS sequestration projected in IPCC SR1.5°C pathways can biophysically be approached, but considering its potentially very large land requirements, recommend substantially lower and earlier deployment of BECCS.
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