Title: Optimal energy use of agricultural crop residues preserving soil organic carbon stocks in Europe
Citation: RENEWABLE & SUSTAINABLE ENERGY REVIEWS vol. 44 no. April 2015 p. 519–529
Publication Year: 2015
JRC N°: JRC88293
ISSN: 1364-0321
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032114010855#
DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2014.12.033
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The European Union (EU thereafter) has committed itself to ambitious targets of Renewable Energy in which Bioenergy is expected to play a major role, incrementing its absolute contribution to Gross Final Energy Consumption from 2458 PJ in 2005 up to 4605 PJ Mtoe in 2020. Agricultural crop residues are a reliable and ready-to-exploit resource for both electricity and, heating and cooling and, in perspective, for second generation biofuels supporting de decarbonisation of the transport sector. Nevertheless, still important concerns exist on the potential depletion of Soil Organic Carbon (SOC thereafter) that may partially offset the environmental suitability and convenience of a large-scale bioenergy policy adoption for agricultural residues. In this paper a sustainable collection rate of crop residues was computed on the view of its potential impact on SOC change on the basis of scenarios obtained from a pan-EU modelling platform. The results show how the aim of SOC content preservation impacts sustainable collection rates of agricultural residues across Europe, depending on factors climate condition, soil quality and pre-existing cultivation history. Nevertheless, agricultural residues theoretically available for energy production can reach up to a potential of about 146000 kt of dry matter, even assuring the SOC preservation and considering the competitive uses of the raw material and provide a not negligible source of renewable energy for several EU-27 countries.
JRC Directorate:Energy, Transport and Climate

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