The contribution of by-products to the sustainability of biofuels
The cultivation of energy crops on arable land may lead to the displacement of food crops and to indirect land-use change (ILUC) with biodiversity loss and extra greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the energy crops for biofuels deliver feed as by-products, reducing the land use for feed production elsewhere, and thereby substantially reducing these negative indirect effects.
By-products of biofuels reduce indirect land-use change
The cultivation of energy crops on arable land may lead to the displacement of food crops and to indirect land-use change (ILUC). Some of the energy crops for biofuels deliver feed as by-products, and this will have an impact on the global feed market. These by-products could be a substitute for crops cultivated for feed elsewhere. In such cases, the net land use for biofuel crops would be reduced, substantially (for rapeseed and wheat by 50 to 100%, based on the substitution of soy meal).
Nevertheless, the impact of this land-use effect on overall greenhouse gas emissions can be substantial, but sensitive to assumptions on yields and regional land-use change. When land use in Europe (for wheat and rapeseed) is compared to land use in Latin America (for soy), regional differences in ILUC emissions strongly determine overall emissions.
More information on indirect effects
- Identifying the indirect effects of bio-energy production
- Indirect effects of biofuels: intensification of agricultural production
- Are models suitable for determining ILUC factors?
- Evaluation of the indirect effects of biofuel production on biodiversity: assessment across spatial and temporal scales
|Auteur(s)||Ros J ; Born GJ van den ; Notenboom J|
|Opmerkingen||Only available in digital format.|