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Pan-European Mapping of Underutilized Land for Bioenergy Production

Joanneum Research, Institute for Information and Communication Technologies, Steyrergasse 17, 8010 Graz, Austria
Institute of Geography and Regional Science, University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria
WIP Renewable Energies, Sylvensteinstr. 2, 81369 Munich, Germany
Economy, Engineering, Society and Business Department (DEIM), University of Tuscia, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Floortje van der Hilst
Land 2021, 10(2), 102;
Received: 22 December 2020 / Revised: 16 January 2021 / Accepted: 20 January 2021 / Published: 22 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Land)
This study aims at identifying underutilized land potentially suitable for bioenergy production in Europe by means of remote sensing time series analysis. The background is the Revised Renewable Energy Directive (REDII) requesting that 32% of Europe’s energy production shall come from renewable energy sources until 2030. In order to avoid the food versus fuel debate, we only considered land that has not been used in the previous five years. Satellite remote sensing is the only technique that allows for the assessment of the usage of land for such a long time span at the pan-European scale with reasonable efforts. We used Landsat 8 (L8) data for the full five year time period 2015–2019 and included additional Sentinel-2 (S2) data for 2018 and 2019. The analysis was based on a stratified approach for biogeographical regions and countries using Google Earth Engine. To our knowledge, this is the first work that employs high resolution time series data for pan-European mapping of underutilized land. The average patch size of underutilized land was found to be between 23.2 ha and 49.6 ha, depending on the biogeographical region. The results show an overall accuracy of more than 85% with a confidence interval (CI) of 1.55% at the 95% confidence level (CL). The classification suggests that at total of 5.3 million ha of underutilized land in Europe is potentially available for agricultural bioenergy production. View Full-Text
Keywords: time series; bioenergy; underutilized land; remote sensing time series; bioenergy; underutilized land; remote sensing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hirschmugl, M.; Sobe, C.; Khawaja, C.; Janssen, R.; Traverso, L. Pan-European Mapping of Underutilized Land for Bioenergy Production. Land 2021, 10, 102.

AMA Style

Hirschmugl M, Sobe C, Khawaja C, Janssen R, Traverso L. Pan-European Mapping of Underutilized Land for Bioenergy Production. Land. 2021; 10(2):102.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hirschmugl, Manuela, Carina Sobe, Cosette Khawaja, Rainer Janssen, and Lorenzo Traverso. 2021. "Pan-European Mapping of Underutilized Land for Bioenergy Production" Land 10, no. 2: 102.

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