Future bio-energy potential under various natural constraints
Potentials for bio-energy have been estimated earlier on the basis of estimates of potentially available land, excluding certain types of land use or land cover (land required for food production and forests). In this paper, we explore how such estimates may be influenced by other factors such as land degradation, water scarcity and biodiversity concerns. Our analysis indicates that of the original bio-energy potential estimate of 150, 80Â EJ occurs in areas classified as from mild to severe land degradation, water stress, or with high biodiversity value. Yield estimates were also found to have a significant impact on potential estimates. A further 12.5% increase in global yields would lead to an increase in bio-energy potential of about 50%. Changes in bio-energy potential are shown to have a direct impact on bio-energy use in the energy model TIMER, although the relevant factor is the bio-energy potential at different cost levels and not the overall potential.
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- Searchinger, Timothy & Heimlich, Ralph & Houghton, R. A. & Dong, Fengxia & Elobeid, Amani & Fabiosa, Jacinto F. & Tokgoz, Simla & Hayes, Dermot J. & Yu, Hun-Hsiang, 2008. "Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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