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Open AccessArticle

Bioenergy Potential and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Intensifying European Temporary Grasslands

1
Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, Princetonlaan 8a, 3584 CB Utrecht, The Netherlands
2
Wageningen Environmental Research, Wageningen University and Research, Droevendaalsesteeg 3, 6708 PB Wageningen, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Land 2020, 9(11), 457; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110457
Received: 24 September 2020 / Revised: 3 November 2020 / Accepted: 13 November 2020 / Published: 18 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioenergy and Land)
Agricultural intensification is considered essential for meeting growing demand for food and biomass for energy purposes. Intensifying grasslands is under-represented, although it is a promising option given their large land area and relatively low management levels. This study quantifies the bioenergy potential from intensifying temporary grasslands in Europe and the integral greenhouse gas emission effects in 2030. We first conducted a literature review of intensification options for European grasslands and then applied the environmental impact assessment model MITERRA-Europe to implement the key intensification option of using multi-species grass mixtures. The results showed that 853 kha (or 8%) of temporary grassland could be made sustainably available for additional biomass production. This can be translated into a bioethanol potential of 23 PJ yr−1 and an emission mitigation potential of 5.8 Mt CO2-eq yr−1 (if conventional grass mixture from surplus temporary grassland is used for energy) or 72 PJ yr−1 and 4.0 Mt CO2-eq yr−1 (if surplus temporary grassland is used for grassy energy crops). Although the bioenergy potential is limited, the key advantage of intensification measure is that it results in a better environmental performance of temporary grasslands. This makes it a key option for sustainably producing bioenergy in areas with high shares of temporary grasslands. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomass; biorefinery; permanent grasslands; intensification; integral emission assessment biomass; biorefinery; permanent grasslands; intensification; integral emission assessment
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wicke, B.; Kluts, I.; Lesschen, J.P. Bioenergy Potential and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Intensifying European Temporary Grasslands. Land 2020, 9, 457. https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110457

AMA Style

Wicke B, Kluts I, Lesschen JP. Bioenergy Potential and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Intensifying European Temporary Grasslands. Land. 2020; 9(11):457. https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110457

Chicago/Turabian Style

Wicke, Birka; Kluts, Ingeborg; Lesschen, Jan P. 2020. "Bioenergy Potential and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Intensifying European Temporary Grasslands" Land 9, no. 11: 457. https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110457

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