The Bioenergy simulator is a user-friendly web-based application developed to help policy makers, practitioners, and business developers estimate potential bioenergy and plan bioenergy development taking into consideration combinations of area, biomass resource, technology, and end-use.
The simulator aims to raise awareness on modern bioenergy production options to help meet global climate goals, decarbonise the world’s energy system, and ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable energy for all.
It is important to note that this knowledge is provided without assessing the financial viability, the socio-economic feasibility, and the environmental impacts.
It is one of a series of web applications developed by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) as part of the Global Atlas for Renewable Energy.
Reach out to IRENA to contribute data, expertise or to promote the Bioenergy simulator initiative.
How does it work?
The Bioenergy simulator relies on spatial datasets, such as agro-ecological zones, protected areas, water scarcity distribution, population density, and power lines, to identify opportunities and limitations to utilise biomass resources for bioenergy production. The user inputs the required parameters, including the area, biomass resource and production process, and the bioenergy simulator retrieves location specific information on the bioenergy potential to run the simulation. Some default technical parameters are included as part of the simulation, but these can be edited by the user for more accurate results.
Is the Bioenergy simulator a global tool?
The methodology of the Bioenergy simulator can be deployed globally to provide estimates of potential bioenergy resource. It provides estimates of possible bioenergy contribution in transport, heating, and electricity.
Which bioenergy resources and processes are used in the Bioenergy simulator?
The simulator allows users to utilise various resources and processes:
How to define a process in the Bioenergy simulator?
To define a resource/process, users must:
What sources does the Bioenergy simulator draw from?
The simulator utilises different datasets depending on the selected type of biomass:
Additionally, the default values used as the simulation parameters for the bioenergy sources are obtained from a global in-depth literature review. But users can edit these values.
What does the result section of the Bioenergy simulator include?
The result section provides users with the summary of the selected inputs, the result of the simulation, including the bioenergy yield and production, and gross electricity or heat production if applicable. The simulator will also suggest an application for the potential bioenergy production and provide further information on how to interpret the data.
Does the Bioenergy simulator provide economic results?
The Bioenergy simulator does not assess the socio-economic feasibility or environmental impacts of the selected bioenergy value chains at any investment scale. Field surveys and in-depth assessments should be conducted to identify the most appropriate technologies for bioenergy production.
Does the simulator account for losses?
No, the Bioenergy simulator provides the theoretical potential based on the provided inputs. It does not account for self-consumption and losses at the plant installation/network.
Does the Bioenergy simulator recommend investment options?
The Bioenergy simulator is not intended to be the basis for final technology choices or investment decisions. It allows the user to perform preliminary analysis to promote modern bioenergy production options for a given area, biomass resource and associated conversion technology.
Where can I find more details about how the Bioenergy simulator works?
For more information refer to the user guidance section or email GARE@irena.org for feedback and questions.