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Productivity developments in European agriculture: Relations to and opportunities for biomass production


  • de Wit, Marc
  • Londo, Marc
  • Faaij, André


This paper discusses if, how fast and to what maximum yield improvements can be realized in Europe in the coming decades and what the opportunities and relations are to biomass production. The starting point for the analysis is the historic context of developments in European agriculture over the past five decades. Historic developments in European crop and animal protein productivity between 1961 and 2007 show an average mean annual growth rate of 1.6%. In relative terms developments are slower on average in the Netherlands and France at 1.0%Â y-1 than in Poland and Ukraine (USSR) at 2.2%Â y-1. In absolute figures, however, growth has been considerable in WEC and modest in the CEEC. Yield trends further show that significant yield changes can be realized over a short period of time. Positive growth rates of 3-5%Â y-1 were reached in several countries and for several crops in several decades. In Eastern European countries during their transition in the 1990s, negative growth rates as low as -7%Â y-1 occurred. Outcomes suggest that productivity levels can be actively steered rather than being just the result of autonomous developments. Current yield gaps differ greatly between Western Europe (France

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  • de Wit, Marc & Londo, Marc & Faaij, André, 2011. "Productivity developments in European agriculture: Relations to and opportunities for biomass production," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 2397-2412, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:15:y:2011:i:5:p:2397-2412

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Shi, Yan & Ge, Ying & Chang, Jie & Shao, Hongbo & Tang, Yuli, 2013. "Garden waste biomass for renewable and sustainable energy production in China: Potential, challenges and development," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 22(C), pages 432-437.
    2. Gerssen-Gondelach, S.J. & Saygin, D. & Wicke, B. & Patel, M.K. & Faaij, A.P.C., 2014. "Competing uses of biomass: Assessment and comparison of the performance of bio-based heat, power, fuels and materials," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 964-998.
    3. Budzianowski, Wojciech M., 2012. "Negative carbon intensity of renewable energy technologies involving biomass or carbon dioxide as inputs," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(9), pages 6507-6521.
    4. repec:eee:energy:v:151:y:2018:i:c:p:998-1006 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Long, Huiling & Li, Xiaobing & Wang, Hong & Jia, Jingdun, 2013. "Biomass resources and their bioenergy potential estimation: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 344-352.
    6. Batidzirai, B. & Smeets, E.M.W. & Faaij, A.P.C., 2012. "Harmonising bioenergy resource potentials—Methodological lessons from review of state of the art bioenergy potential assessments," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(9), pages 6598-6630.
    7. Hussain, C.M. Iftekhar & Norton, Brian & Duffy, Aidan, 2017. "Technological assessment of different solar-biomass systems for hybrid power generation in Europe," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 68(P2), pages 1115-1129.
    8. Kluts, Ingeborg & Wicke, Birka & Leemans, Rik & Faaij, André, 2017. "Sustainability constraints in determining European bioenergy potential: A review of existing studies and steps forward," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 719-734.


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