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Can Bioenergy Sustainably Contribute to Future Energy Supplies?

Can Bioenergy Sustainably Contribute to Future Energy Supplies?

20 April 2015

BRAZIL - A report by an international scientific organisation showed that bioenergy can help to meet energy demands in the future, despite concerns over increasing food supply requirements.

The peer-reviewed report contains contributions from 137 researchers of 82 institutions in 24 countries, and was launched by the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) in Brazil.

The experts considered the latest studies on biomass availability, modern conversion technology, its environmental, economic and social impacts and highlights findings with case studies.

The report concludes that land availability is not a limiting factor.

Bioenergy can contribute to sustainable energy supplies even with increasing food demands, preservation of forests, protected lands, and rising urbanisation.

It is projected that 50-200 million hectares of land would be needed to provide 10-20% of primary energy supply in 2050, while it is estimated that at least 500 million hectare are available without compromising the other uses.

If pasture intensification and the use of marginal or degraded land are considered this rises to 900 million hectares available land.

As documented in the report, the use of land for bioenergy is inextricably linked to food security, environmental quality, and social development, with potentially positive or negative consequences essentially depending on how these linkages are managed.

Patricia Osseweijer, lead author of the cross cutting chapter on Bioenergy and Food Security, said: “A number of case studies support the positive contribution that bioenergy can make to social development and food security.

"The report will greatly help to further develop such positive synergies and contribute to the global discussion on bioenergy”. 

TheCropSite News Desk

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