Bioenergy technology - balancing energy output with environmental benefits

John C. Clifton-Brown, Astley Hastings, P. Smith, P. Stampfl, John Valentine, M. Jones, Iain S. Donnison

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Proceeding (Non-Journal item)


The drivers for the development of the use of bio-energy are energy security and mitigating climate change. The question is which of these is the dominant driver as they both have different technology requirements and consequences that are generally mutually exclusive. If energy security is the main driver then technologies that maximize the energy output per unit input and maximize the energy yield per ha of land are important. On the other hand if mitigating climate change is the driver then maximizing the mitigation of GHG emissions both by sustainable crop management and replacement of the maximum amount of fossil fuel are key issues. They overlap in terms of energy use efficiency and maximizing yields but diverge in land use change, the varying management practices of different crops and competition with food and fibre production for available real estate. In our contribution to this debate on bio-energy we will address the issue of energy yield, GHG emissions, energy use efficiency and carbon intensity of bio-energy crops in general and for Miscanthus in particular. We will show the importance of species selection and breeding to maximise the energy balance and environmental benefits. We will present a series of map layers for the EU27 which we have used recently to calculate (1) the available land resources, (2) the regional yields, (3) the national yields and contribution to energy demands for the promising species Miscanthus. We will also present data on projected future energy yields and carbon mitigation that we believe are achievable taking into account the breeding potential and predicted future climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology
Subtitle of host publicationAbstracts of the Annual Main Meeting of the Society of Experimental Biology, 6th - 10th July 2008, Marseille, France
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jul 2008
Event2008 Society for Experimental Biology Annual Main Meeting - Marseille, France
Duration: 06 Jul 200810 Jul 2008


Conference2008 Society for Experimental Biology Annual Main Meeting
Period06 Jul 200810 Jul 2008


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