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Land required to drive 100 kilometres Land required to drive 100 kilometres
The graphic compares different liquid biofuels and alternative drive systems such as an electric vehicle running on electricity produced from wind power.
29 Feb 2012 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Potential risks of energy crop expansion on land access Potential risks of energy crop expansion on land access
Poor land tenure security due to lack of appropriate rules and processes, and biofuels production encroaching on land used by pastoralists or for cultural purposes affect local livelihoods and access to land, particularly for poor rural people in developing countries. This figure indicates various measures which should be taken to mitigate this risk.
29 Feb 2012 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Pressures on Ugandan forests Pressures on Ugandan forests
Recently Uganda has outlined its national strategy for bioenergy to contribute to increasing the renewable energy mix from 4 to 16 percent by 2017. Alongside the energy challenge, the country faces a number of other difficult tasks including loss of ecosystems and systemic low rural employment. Ugandan officials have pointed out that in addition to serving as a new source of renewable energy, growing crops for bioenergy can help tackle unemploy...
01 Oct 2012 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Suitability by crop type in Uganda Suitability by crop type in Uganda
Recently Uganda has outlined its national strategy for bioenergy to contribute to increasing the renewable energy mix from 4 to 16 percent by 2017. Several biofuel crops have been identified, including sugarcane, maize, oil palm and jatropha. A suitability assessment of these crops illustrates that the potential output from certain biofuel feedstocks is high. Several projects are underway to help the country meet their target. To red...
01 Mar 2012 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Potential biofuels output in Uganda Potential biofuels output in Uganda
Recently Uganda has outlined its national strategy for bioenergy to contribute to increasing the renewable energy mix from 4 to 16 percent by 2017. Several biofuel crops have been identified, including sugarcane, maize, oil palm and jatropha. A suitability assessment of these crops illustrates that the potential output from certain biofuel feedstocks is high. Several projects are underway to help the country meet their target. To red...
29 Feb 2012 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Indirect land-use change induced by increased biofuels production Indirect land-use change induced by increased biofuels production
This figure indicates land requirements for biofuels production in response to current biofuels mandates. Depending on projected biofuels demand and available arable land, additional land requirements may exceed a nation’s own resources, and hence have a spill-over effect on other countries and regions. For example, studies indicate that most European countries will not have sufficient available land resources to produce the feedstocks requ...
29 Feb 2012 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Potential biofuels production on abandoned agricultural land Potential biofuels production on abandoned agricultural land
Land-use planning is one strategy to manage competition for land and, at the same time, reduce environmental and social impacts. Assessment of land suitability and availability can identify both high-risk areas where land conversion should be avoided, and areas where bioenergy production is appropriate. Restoring formerly degraded land and using underused and/or abandoned land can boost output without increasing pressure to convert la...
29 Feb 2012 - by Nieves Lopez Izquierdo
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Estimated feedstock efficiency and environmental impacts Estimated feedstock efficiency and environmental impacts
The negative consequences of iLUC have been hotly debated. Recent debate has focused increasingly on a pragmatic approach to reducing the need for land, thereby reducing risks from direct and indirect changes in land use. These approaches include: • Using degraded and/or underused land where the risks of increased GHGs and the loss of biodiversity would be substantially lower. However, the process for identifying such land areas needs ...
29 Feb 2012 - by Nieves Lopez Izquierdo
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Land required for biofuels by feedstock Land required for biofuels by feedstock
When assessing the sustainability of biofuels within the context of conservation, comparison questions are important. What else can the land be used for? One option might be conservation, whereas another might be for a different production system. Which production system is the most suitable and efficient for the land being used? Here, the land-use and end-use efficiency correlation is an interesting aspect when seeking to determine the o...
29 Feb 2012 - by Nieves Lopez Izquierdo
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Forest Carbon Sequestration Forest Carbon Sequestration
Converting land for biofuel production can cause biodiversity impacts in the short-term, but such conversion also aects the future resilience of natural ecosystems. In an extreme case, complete deforestation reduces the ability of forestland to regenerate and absorb carbon in the future.
01 Mar 2012 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Impact of land conversion on biodiversity Impact of land conversion on biodiversity
The impacts of land conversion on biodiversity may be significant. The degree of impact relates to many factors, including where and how the bioenergy product is cultivated. This figure represent the short-term impacts of land conversion.
01 Mar 2012 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Biodiversity in forests and oil palm plantations, South East Asia Biodiversity in forests and oil palm plantations, South East Asia
01 Oct 2012 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Biofuels crops and biodiversity Biofuels crops and biodiversity
Biofuels pose several environmental and social risks. Therefore, to be truly a part of the green economy, biofuels need to comply with a set of safeguards along the entire production chain. Any bioenergy development strategy must integrate such safeguards at all levels, from policy to investments and the project itself. As impacts can be significant, they need to be assessed from a number of angles, including: • Direct and indirect lan...
08 Mar 2012 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Bioenergy from agriculture: factors related to biodiversity Bioenergy from agriculture: factors related to biodiversity
The use of Genetically Engineered Crops (GECs) carries both potential benefits and risks. While it is recognised that they can help to introduce useful traits and increase productivity, there are also concerns about adverse ecological impacts. The balance between risks and benefits is likely to vary according to the different conditions of individual countries. It is advisable that comprehensive biosafety risk assessments are conducted bef...
29 Feb 2012 - by Nieves Lopez Izquierdo
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Biofuels in China: crop production and water scarcity Biofuels in China: crop production and water scarcity
In 2009 China produced 2 billion litres of biofuels, ranking the country third behind Brazil and the USA. The Chinese government has set ambitious targets seeing biofuels as not only contributing to the country’s rapidly expanding energy needs, but also as a way of providing rural employment. With China having 20 percent of the world’s population but only seven percent of its arable area, biofuels production is clearly constrained by land...
29 Feb 2012 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Nitrogen runo Nitrogen runo
Fertiliser and pesticides used to cultivate feedstocks, as well as contaminated effuents discharged from conversion plants, can cause increasing levels of pollution to waterways. This may constrain the growth of biofuels production in developed and developing countries with already high agricultural production levels. An example illustrates the level of nitrogen persistent in various regions of the United States and agrochemical use for di...
01 Mar 2012 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Agriculture in the Mississippi River Basin Agriculture in the Mississippi River Basin
Fertiliser and pesticides used to cultivate feedstocks, as well as contaminated effuents discharged from conversion plants, can cause increasing levels of pollution to waterways. This may constrain the growth of biofuels production in developed and developing countries with already high agricultural production levels. Graphic illustrates agriculture in Mississippi river basin, an area known as the country’s corn and ethanol belt. Agricultu...
01 Mar 2012 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Agrochemical use in US agriculture Agrochemical use in US agriculture
01 Oct 2012 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Average water requirement for biofuels Average water requirement for biofuels
The figure shows average water requirement for biofuels. Underlying data need to be interpreted in context. For example, rainfed jatropha is produced in Mali as a biofuel, which means that it receives less water than in many comparable contexts, but also with somewhat lower output of biofuel. India in contrast, has been irrigating jatropha to achieve commercially acceptable yields. The two contexts will produce different water footprint measurem...
01 Mar 2012 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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Variation in blue water footprints for selected energy crops Variation in blue water footprints for selected energy crops
Figure compares the water necessary to produce, transport, and convert a given crop into a fuel in two different regions. This shows important variations, and points to the need for careful matching of energy crops and production and conversion systems with available water supplies. The global trade in biofuel crops has created a ‘virtual water exchange’ where some countries with low water resources ‘export’ their water in the form of bio...
01 Mar 2012 - by Riccardo Pravettoni, UNEP/GRID-Arendal
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