Value of bioenergy

ECONOMIC VALUE

Gross stumpage earnings from energy wood have been in rise in recent years. In 2013 the earnings were over 90 million euros.

Many private households are still using wood combustion for heating. This decreases the use of communal heating and thus creates economic benefit.

In Finland the economic value of agriculture-based energy production is considerably smaller than that of wood-based energy.

SOCIAL VALUE

The social value of bioenergy arises from the employment effect of the bioenergy production and distribution. The employment effect occurs in many sectors, for example, in forestry, agriculture and process industry.

HEALTH VALUE

Health value of bioenergy is mostly indirect. The use of bioenergy decreases the need of fossil fuels in combustion processes for example in traffic. This has a positive effect on air quality and thus to health. (See Benefit: Air quality)

INTRINSIC VALUE

Intrinsic value of bioenergy has a variety of aspects, sometimes inconsistent with each other. Bioenergy can be seen having positive intrinsic value by decreasing the need of fossil fuels and creating a greener and more sustainable society.

The use of biological organisms for energy production has, nevertheless, turned out to be quite detrimental for biodiversity both in Finland and worldwide. In Finland the collecting of energy wood has decreased the amount of dead wood in the forests which results in a decline in the diversity of many insect species. Worldwide the bioenergy production has led to extensive clearings in rain forests.

The use of bioenergy rises also a social dilemma. It has been suggested that agricultural products should not be used for energy production before the problems of global famine have been solved.

 

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