Assessment of biomass potentials for biofuel feedstock production in Europe: Methodology and results
The role of bio-fuels has been strongly enhanced by their consideration in the climate change debate, as well as opportunities for rural development and improved energy security. Europe’s bio-fuel production potential has been determined for various land use scenarios up to 2030 using a detailed Pan-European resource database and a spatially explicit feedstock suitability and productivity modelling framework. Both arable land and grassland have been considered for a broad range of bio-fuel feedstock production options. Europe’s agricultural land today comprises 133 million hectares of cultivated land and 74 million hectares of permanent grassland (EU27 plus Norway, Switzerland, and Ukraine). Future available land for bio-fuel production was estimated while satisfying projected food and feed demand at current aggregate European self-reliance levels for agricultural products. In this land resource based approach, the future land area requirements are estimated for Europe’s agricultural sector.