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Sustainability assessment of bioenergy from a global perspective: a reviewWang, Jianliang; Yang, Yuru; Bentley, Yongmei; Geng, Xu; Liu, Xiaojie; China University of Petroleum; University of Bedfordshire; Chinese Academy of Sciences (MDPI, 2018-08-01)Bioenergy, as a renewable energy resource, is expected to see significant development in the future. However, a key issue that will affect this trend is sustainability of bioenergy. There have been many studies on this topic, but mainly focusing on only one- or two-dimensions of the issue, and also with much of the literature directed at studies of European regions. To help understand the wider scope of bioenergy sustainability, this paper reviews a broad range of current research on the topic, and places the literature into a multi-dimensional framework covering the economic, environmental and ecological, social, and land-related aspects of bioenergy sustainability, as well as a geographical analysis of the areas for which the studies have been carried out. The review indicates that it is hard to draw an overall conclusion on the sustainability of bioenergy because of limited studies or contradictory results in some aspects. In addition, this review shows that crop-based bioenergy and forest bioenergy are seen as the main sources of bioenergy, and that most studies discuss the final utilization of bioenergy as being for electricity generation. Finally, research directions for future study are suggested, based on the literature reviewed here.