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SABIOS - Sustainability assessment of bioenergy systems: A life cycle multi-criteria decision-support approach, including land use change


Title: SABIOS - Sustainability assessment of bioenergy systems: A life cycle multi-criteria decision-support approach, including land use change

Coordinators at INESCC: Luís Dias


Project Team:

Date of approval:

Dates start/end: 06-2016 / 05-2019

Total Eligible Cost: 28 584.00€

EU Financial Support: 24 296.40€

National Financial Support: 4 287.60€

Project Code: POCI-01-0145-FEDER-016765

Region of intervention:

Beneficiaries:Universidade de Aveiro, INESC Coimbra - Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores de Coimbra, Associação para o Desenvolvimento da Aerodinamica Industrial




Bioenergy has been proposed as a solution to several pressing concerns such as energy security, climate change and rural development. However, accelerating growth in bioenergy demand has been accompanied by a growing concern about the environmental, economic and social impacts, such as deforestation, related food competition, and land conflicts.

The methodology aims to innovate and advance the state of the art along three interrelated lines:

  1. The LCA will account for the indirect Land Use Changes (LUC) effects, occurring when pressure on agriculture due to the displacement of previous activity or by use of the biomass induces LUC on other lands. Such indirect effects have been neglected to a great extent in past studies, which focus on direct effects. This calls for a consequential modelling of the selected bioenergy systems, which will be also compared with the type of attributional models prevailing among existing bioenergy life cycle modelling assessments.
  2. The assessment of bioenergy alternatives will be based on the complementary use of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) and LCA, following the recent trends of using LCA as a means to obtain a subset of the criteria to be considered in MCDA. This allows integrating criteria such as local environmental impacts, besides economic or social ones. MCDA structuring tools will be used to define a coherent family of criteria representing the interests of stakeholders and the informed public.
  3. Uncertainty analysis will be embedded throughout all models to be developed, an important aspect since there is considerable uncertainty regarding the type, scale and timing of indirect LUC. Furthermore, uncertainty about MCDA preference-related parameters will also be addressed.