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Climate impact assessment of willow energy from a landscape perspective: a Swedish case study

Hammar, Torun and Hansson, Per-Anders and Sundberg, Cecilia (2017). Climate impact assessment of willow energy from a landscape perspective: a Swedish case study. Global Change Biology. Bioenergy. 9 , 973-985
[Research article]

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Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12399


Locally produced bioenergy can decrease the dependency on imported fossil fuels in a region, while also being valuable for climate change mitigation. Short-rotation coppice willow is a potentially high-yielding energy crop that can be grown to supply a local energy facility. This study assessed the energy performance and climate impacts when establishing willow on current fallow land in a Swedish region with the purpose of supplying a bio-based combined heat and power plant. Time-dependent life cycle assessment (LCA) was combined with GIS mapping to include spatial variation in terms of transport distance, initial soil organic carbon content, soil texture and yield. Two climate metrics were used (global warming potential (GWP) and absolute global temperature change potential (AGTP)), and the energy performance was determined by calculating the energy ratio (energy produced per unit of energy used). The results showed that when current fallow land in a Swedish region was used for willow energy, an average energy ratio of 30 MJ MJ-1 (including heat, power and flue gas condensation) was obtained and on average 84.3 Mg carbon per ha was sequestered in the soil during a 100 year time frame (compared with the reference land use). The processes contributing most to the energy use during one willow rotation was the production and application of fertilisers (~40%), followed by harvest (~35%) and transport (~20%). The temperature response after 100 years of willow cultivation was -6·10-16 K MJ-1 heat, which is much lower compared with fossil coal and natural gas (70·10-16 K MJ-1 heat and 35·10-16 K MJ-1 heat, respectively). The combined GIS and time-dependent LCA approach developed here can be a useful tool in systematic analysis of bioenergy production systems and related land use effects.

Authors/Creators:Hammar, Torun and Hansson, Per-Anders and Sundberg, Cecilia
Title:Climate impact assessment of willow energy from a landscape perspective: a Swedish case study
Series Name/Journal:Global Change Biology. Bioenergy
Year of publishing :2017
Page range:973-985
Number of Pages:13
Publisher:John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:P Natural resources > P06 Renewable energy resources
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Climate Research
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 2 Engineering and Technology > 207 Environmental Engineering > Energy Systems
Keywords:bioenergy, geographic information system, global warming, land use, life cycle assessment, Salix, soil organic carbon, spatial variation
Permanent URL:
ID Code:14435
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Energy and Technology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:13 Jul 2017 09:09
Metadata Last Modified:19 Jul 2017 11:09

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