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Article

GHG Balance of Agricultural Intensification & Bioenergy Production in the Orinoquia Region, Colombia

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Energy Sustainability Research Institute, Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 6, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands
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Colombian Oil Palm Research Centre, Cenipalma, Bogotá 252171, Colombia
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Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, 3584 CB Utrecht, The Netherlands
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National Federation of Oil Palm Growers, Fedepalma, Bogotá 110231, Colombia
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Research Group on Sustainable Tropical Production, Universidad De Los Llanos, Villavicencio 500001, Colombia
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TNO Energy Transition, 80015 Utrecht, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marta Debolini
Land 2021, 10(3), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10030289
Received: 7 February 2021 / Revised: 3 March 2021 / Accepted: 8 March 2021 / Published: 11 March 2021
Energy crop expansion can increase land demand and generate displacement of food crops, which impacts greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions mainly through land-use change (LUC). Increased agricultural productivity could compensate for this. Our study aims to evaluate the regional combined GHG emissions of increasing agricultural yields for food crop and beef production and using the generated surplus land for biomass production to replace fossil fuels in the Orinoquia region of Colombia until 2030. The results show that surplus land for biomass production is obtained only when strong measures are applied to increase agricultural productivity. In the medium and high scenario, a land surplus of 0.6 and 2.4 Mha, respectively, could be generated. Such intensification results in up to 83% emission reduction in Orinoquia’s agricultural sector, largely coming from increasing productivity of cattle production and improving degraded pastures. Biofuel potential from the surplus land is projected at 36 to 368 PJ per year, with a low risk of causing indirect LUC, and results in GHG emission reductions of more than 100% compared to its fossil fuel equivalent. An integrated perspective of the agricultural land use enables sustainable production of both food and bioenergy. View Full-Text
Keywords: land-use change; biomass; cattle; sustainable intensification; biofuels; bioelectricity; palm oil; sugarcane; acacia land-use change; biomass; cattle; sustainable intensification; biofuels; bioelectricity; palm oil; sugarcane; acacia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ramírez-Contreras, N.E.; Munar-Florez, D.; Hilst, F.v.d.; Espinosa, J.C.; Ocampo-Duran, Á.; Ruíz-Delgado, J.; Molina-López, D.L.; Wicke, B.; Garcia-Nunez, J.A.; Faaij, A.P.C. GHG Balance of Agricultural Intensification & Bioenergy Production in the Orinoquia Region, Colombia. Land 2021, 10, 289. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10030289

AMA Style

Ramírez-Contreras NE, Munar-Florez D, Hilst Fvd, Espinosa JC, Ocampo-Duran Á, Ruíz-Delgado J, Molina-López DL, Wicke B, Garcia-Nunez JA, Faaij APC. GHG Balance of Agricultural Intensification & Bioenergy Production in the Orinoquia Region, Colombia. Land. 2021; 10(3):289. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10030289

Chicago/Turabian Style

Ramírez-Contreras, Nidia E., David Munar-Florez, Floor v.d. Hilst, Juan C. Espinosa, Álvaro Ocampo-Duran, Jonathan Ruíz-Delgado, Diego L. Molina-López, Birka Wicke, Jesús A. Garcia-Nunez, and André P.C. Faaij 2021. "GHG Balance of Agricultural Intensification & Bioenergy Production in the Orinoquia Region, Colombia" Land 10, no. 3: 289. https://doi.org/10.3390/land10030289

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