2020-09-18Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.3390/su12187731
Potential Bioenergy Production from Miscanthus × giganteus in Brandenburg: Producing Bioenergy and Fostering Other Ecosystem Services while Ensuring Food Self-Sufficiency in the Berlin-Brandenburg Region
Miscanthus × giganteus (hereafter Miscanthus) is a perennial crop characterized by its high biomass production, low nutrient requirements, its ability for soil restoration, and its cultivation potential on marginal land. The development of the bioenergy sector in the state of Brandenburg (Germany), with maize as the dominant crop, has recently drawn attention to its negative environmental impacts, competition with food production, and uncertainties regarding its further development toward the state’s bioenergy targets. This study aimed to estimate the potential bioenergy production in Brandenburg by cultivating Miscanthus only on marginal land, thereby avoiding competition with food production in the Berlin-Brandenburg city-region (i.e., foodshed), after using the Metropolitan Foodshed and Self-sufficiency Scenario (MFSS) model. We estimated that by 2030, the Berlin-Brandenburg foodshed would require around 1.13 million hectares to achieve 100% food self-sufficiency under the business as usual (BAU) scenario, and hence there would be around 390,000 ha land left for bioenergy production. Our results suggest that the region would require about 569,000 ha of land of maize to generate 58 PJ—the bioenergy target of the state of Brandenburg for 2030—which is almost 179,000 ha more than the available area for bioenergy production. However, under Miscanthus plantation, the required area would be reduced by 2.5 times to 232,000 ha. Therefore, Miscanthus could enable Brandenburg to meet its bioenergy target by 2030, while at the same time avoiding the trade-offs with food production, and also providing a potential for soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration of around 255,200 t C yr-1, leading to an improvement in the soil fertility and other ecosystem services (e.g., biodiversity), compared with bioenergy generated from maize.
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