Title: An assessment of dedicated energy crops in Europe under the EU Energy Reference Scenario 2013. Application of the LUISA modelling platform - Updated Configuration 2014
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2016
JRC N°: JRC99227
ISBN: 978-92-79-54171-1
ISSN: 1831-9424
Other Identifiers: EUR 27644
OP LB-NA-27644-EN-N
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC99227
DOI: 10.2788/64726
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: This report presents a comprehensive analysis of dedicated energy crops (ENCR) performed with the LUISA (Land Use-based Integrated Sustainability Assessment) modelling platform across Europe between 2020 and 2050. LUISA is configured in compliance with the “EU Energy, Transport and GHG emissions trends until 2050” document in order to ensure that the EU meet its climate and energy targets up to 2050 (EU Reference Scenario 2013, updated LUISA configuration 2014). The spatial modelling of ENCR in LUISA requires determining a set of elements such as the land demand, availability and suitability of the land, and other land categories for the ENCR cultivation. Thus, the assessment is focused on the following steps: 1) Land accounts and dominant land use/cover flows for the expansion of energy crops at European scale, 2) A suitability analysis of the land dedicated to these crops based on suitability maps, 3) Recuperation of degraded and contaminated lands for energy purpose, 4) A detailed regional analysis per each Member State (factsheets) with a summary of the main important findings, and 5) Evaluation of energy crops’ impacts on a selection of environmental indicators (provision of ecosystem services). In LUISA, the displacement and cultivation of crops solely dedicated to energy production takes place on a specific land-use class named ‘energy crop’ (ENCR), which competes in particular with the demand for others land-uses, such as for food, feed and forest. The amount of ENCR reaches about 13,549 kha in 2050 that represents, on average, 3.6% of Europe’s total available land. This expansion occurs mainly at expenses of land for food and feed (90%). Forest and natural land (9% and 1%,) represent respectively the second and third land flows towards ENCR among total land-use changes (with these flows represented respectively 9 and 1% of all land use changes). As result of this land competition, there is an increasing shift of food and feed crops towards low quality land, due not only to the ENCR expansion but also to the growth of residential and economic-driven land uses. It should also be noted that intensive agriculture practices for ENCR production might have some negative impacts on soil, water, biodiversity, amongst others. Owing to this potential impacts, the analysis performed on the supply of a set of ecosystem services identifies some services more sensitive than others to ENCR growth. In particular, pollination potential, habitat quality for birds and also the Green-Infrastructure network are expected to decrease due to ENCR growth, while patterns for recreational opportunities and water retention services are less evident.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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