Krasuska E.,Institute for Fuels and Renewable Energy IPiEO |
Cadorniga C.,Spanish Institute of Agricultural and Food Research INIA |
Tenorio J.L.,Spanish Institute of Agricultural and Food Research INIA |
Testa G.,University of Catania |
Scordia D.,University of Catania
Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining | Year: 2010
The European Union (EU) has set quite an ambitious goal for biofuels contribution to the makeup of the renewable energy mix in the next decades. While substantial efforts have been made to develop the technologies for the transformation of biomass into biofuels, it is still uncertain to what extent the EU will be able to generate the biomass needed to meet its targets without compromising domestic food security. Using a bottom-up approach, this review addresses one of the key elements: the potential availability of land for non-food crops in the EU. The assessment is based on a land allocation model, which calculates surplus land that would be available for non-food crops after satisfying food and feed demands. Projections of future agriculture productivity and changes in population are the most important parameters of the modeling applied for two future scenarios established for the years 2020 and 2030. The total area potentially available for non-food crops in the EU-27 (excluding Cyprus and Malta) is estimated to be 13.2 million ha in the current situation, with fallow land the largest contributor. In scenarios 2020 and 2030, additional land would be released from food and fodder crops, resulting in total land potential of 20.5 million ha in 2020 and 26.2 million ha in 2030. Results presented on a regional basis indicate potential locations for biomass transformation plants in terms of feedstock production. A set of non-food crops can be recommended for the diverse climate and agronomic conditions of the entire EU area. © 2010 Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.