Energy crops could cover energy demand in surplus agricultural lands

04 November 2013
Published in Blog
Energy crops could cover energy demand in surplus agricultural landsEnergy crops could cover energy demand in surplus agricultural lands

From: Energy Bioenergy Crops

Energy crops could cover energy demand in surplus agricultural lands

A brand new study (2013) found that the projected energy demand (2035) in developing countries, can be covered with energy crops in surplus agricultural lands, then not competing with food production.  The study, from the Department of Energy Technology, at Aalto University School of Engineering (Finland) was accepted by the sound scienfitc journal  Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews .

marginal lands evolution and perspectivesmarginal lands evolution and perspectives

The authors did first an extensive literature review considering current status on land availability, land use pattern, crops and energy production and their present and projected demands. Historical trends in land use changes, crop yields, per capita land use were also reviewed from statistical database and literature sources. In the second part, a set of assumptions were made based on the information and insight gained from the reviewed literature to determine the extents of land availability for growing selected energy crops to meet the projected demands.

The article, mentions that a FAO report ( ) estimates that total land area under crop production in 2010 was 1545 Mha and would be 1645 Mha in 2050.  Same FAO study suggested that although few countries have reached or are about to reach the limits of their available land for agriculture, at the global level there is still sufficient land resources to feed the world’s population for the foreseeable future in line with the estimated yield growth.

Perennial plants can occupy pastures and degraded lands  The study focus all the assessment in perennial species and agricultural residues mostly. Regarding energy crop, this publication focused on scenario building with jatropha, willow, poplar, switchgrass and miscanthus.

Energy crops could cover energy demand in surplus agricultural landsEnergy crops could cover energy demand in surplus agricultural lands

The study considers different crops including miscanthus, switchgrass and willows in meadows, pastures and surplus lands

Land use changes may exist, but there is enough land available for perennials.

The article pointed clearly that the projected population in the developing countries are expected to be 5858 million in 2035, and they require 1933 Mt of cereal crop products and 2580 Mt of other crops (roots and tubers, pulses, sugar crops, and oil crops) considering consumption of 3302 kcal (13.8 MJ) per capita per day in 2035. Although there is still
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