Traditionally, analyses focusing on the optimal development of EU or national energy systems seldom take into account major constraints related to the use of biomass. Hence, the choice in REEEM to integrate multiple ecosystem services and biodiversity in the assessment of energy transition plans and, specifically, plans for increasing use of forest biomass as a renewable energy source is crucial.
The REEEM project targets to gain a comprehensive understanding of the system-wide implications of energy strategies in support of transitions to a competitive low-carbon EU society. The Landscape simulation and Ecological Assessment (LEcA) tool aims to create a link between energy assessment models and the assessment of multiple ecosystem services. The case study of Lithuania uses the LEcA tool, which consists of modules for simulation of forest management and growth, as well as the resulting bioenergy feedstock yield, industrial wood production, carbon storage, recreation area and habitat networks for prioritized biodiversity components. This will enable the integration of relevant ecosystem services, including a sustainable production of forest bioenergy feedstock, in sustainability assessment of energy policies and related forest bioenergy options.