Thursday, January 22, 2009

CPPS Seminar: 5 February 2009

The European potential to produce Bio-energy: Miscanthus potential for current and future climates

Astley Hastings - University of Aberdeen
Thursday 05 February 2009, 16:00-17:00
Department of Plant Sciences Large Lecture Theatre, Cambridge

Using bio-fuels, such as bio-ethanol or bio-diesel in transportation, or biomass in power generation reduces CO2 emissions as the carbon is fixed by the plants from the atmosphere and saves the equivalent fossil fuel. The perennial rhizomatous C4 grass Miscanthus has one of the highest energy intensities per hectare of land in Europe. Here we model the future potential of Europe to produce Miscanthus with four different future land use and climate change scenarios and conclude that up to 17% of Europe’s current primary energy consumption could be provided by this bio-energy crop by the year 2080 but that inter-annual variation of crop yield can be more than 20%. We conclude that that the highest greenhouse gas mitigation from bio-energy can be achieved by growing a Miscanthus crop on existing fertile and degraded arable land and not on land with a currently undisturbed ecosystem.

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