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Fossil energy and GHG saving potentials of pig farming in the EU


  • Nguyen, Thu Lan T.
  • Hermansen, John E.
  • Mogensen, Lisbeth


In Europe, the highly developed livestock industry places a high burden on resource use and environmental quality. This paper examines pig meat production in North-West Europe as a base case and runs different scenarios to investigate how improvements in terms of energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) savings can be feasibly achieved. As shown in the results of the analysis, pig farming in the EU has a high potential to reduce fossil energy use and GHG emissions by taking improvement measures in three aspects: (i) feed use; (ii) manure management; and (iii) manure utilization. In particular, a combination of improvements in all mentioned aspects offers the highest savings potential of up to 61% fossil energy and 49% GHG emissions. In weighing these three aspects, manure utilization for energy production is found to be the most important factor in reducing fossil energy use and GHG emissions. However, when GHG implications of land use change and land opportunity cost associated with the production of feed crops (e.g. soy meal, cereals) are considered, reducing feed use becomes the main factor in improving GHG performance of EU pork.

Suggested Citation

  • Nguyen, Thu Lan T. & Hermansen, John E. & Mogensen, Lisbeth, 2010. "Fossil energy and GHG saving potentials of pig farming in the EU," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(5), pages 2561-2571, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:5:p:2561-2571

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Nguyen, Thu Lan T. & Hermansen, John E. & Mogensen, Lisbeth, 2013. "Environmental performance of crop residues as an energy source for electricity production: The case of wheat straw in Denmark," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 633-641.
    2. Sgarbossa, Fabio & Russo, Ivan, 2017. "A proactive model in sustainable food supply chain: Insight from a case study," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 183(PB), pages 596-606.
    3. repec:eee:appene:v:212:y:2018:i:c:p:820-833 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Mayerle, Sérgio Fernando & Neiva de Figueiredo, João, 2016. "Designing optimal supply chains for anaerobic bio-digestion/energy generation complexes with distributed small farm feedstock sourcing," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 46-54.
    5. Mirade, Pierre-Sylvain & Perret, Bruno & Guillemin, Hervé & Picque, Daniel & Desserre, Béatrice & Montel, Marie-Christine & Corrieu, Georges, 2012. "Quantifying energy savings during cheese ripening after implementation of sequential air ventilation in an industrial cheesemaking plant," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 248-258.
    6. Lehmann, Richard J. & Fritz, Melanie & Schiefer, Gerhard, 2011. "Information Reference Models for European Pork Supply Networks," 2011 International European Forum, February 14-18, 2011, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 122014, International European Forum on Innovation and System Dynamics in Food Networks.
    7. Glover, J.L. & Champion, D. & Daniels, K.J. & Dainty, A.J.D., 2014. "An Institutional Theory perspective on sustainable practices across the dairy supply chain," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 152(C), pages 102-111.


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