Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Bioenergy

24 July 2016

This paper analyses the options for and impacts of using food waste as animal feed and is the first study to compare the environmental impacts of recycling municipal food waste as animal feed with alternative disposal options in the EU.

9 June 2016

The last decade has witnessed major crises in both food and energy security across the world. One response to the challenges of climate change and energy supply has been the development of crops to be used for biofuels. But, as this book shows, this can divert agricultural land from food production to energy crops, thus affecting food security, particularly in less developed countries.

Sorghum (Photo credit:  U.S. department of Agriculture, Flickr, creative commons)
10 March 2016

In this Nature Comment, Phil Williamson of the Natural England Research Council and the University of East Anglia, argues that in order for the climate goals agreed at the COP21 in Paris last year to be achieved, a full assessment must be made of the methods for removing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere.

16 July 2015

This report summarises research from scientific, policy and industrial experiences on energy use in the EU food sector. It acknowledges that while the EU has made progress in incorporating renewable energy across the economy, the share of renewables in the food system remains relatively small. The report discusses the way ahead and highlights the main challenges to be faced in decreasing energy use and in increasing the renewable energy share in the food sector.

18 June 2015

A new paper published in Environmental Science and Technology finds that measures to mitigate agricultural GHG emissions potentially risk increasing global hunger more than the impacts of climate change on crop yields itself.  The study draws upon global models to quantify:  a. the impact of climate change on yields in the absence of mitigation, b. the impact of bionergy production (as one mitigation measure) on competition for land and associated food prices and c. finally, the costs associated with mitigating the impacts of climate change by introducing a carbon tax.  Introduction of this tax is assumed to lead to increase in use of renewable fuels (wind, power, geothermal, bionenergy) and ‘abatement from non energy sources’ – which presumably includes agriculture although they do not specify what sort of abatement this would be.

20 May 2015

One of the main concerns about bioenergy is that its production potentially competes with land needed to produce food.  In this paper researchers discuss the potential of a bioenergy feedstock/vegetable double-cropping system, in which both biofuel and pumpkin are produced.  

8 May 2015

A new green energy initiative has been launched by the Japanese meat processor NH Foods. Their Global Water Engineering (GWE) Cohral plant (in Australia)will extract green energy biogas from the waste water stream of production, replacing millions of dollars’ worth of natural gas currently consumed by the company factory.  It is reported that the effect of burning the methane will save the equivalent of 12,000 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to removing 2,700 cars from the road.

5 May 2015

Livestock, domestic animals raised for meat, dairy and eggs, is responsible for 14.5 percent of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  Because of the scale of its contribution, mitigation of emissions from the livestock sector must be addressed in order to avoid an average global temperature rise of more than 2°C compared to pre-industrial times. 

19 April 2015

This study argues that government biofuel policies rely on reductions in food consumption to generate greenhouse gas savings. It looks at three models used by U.S. and European agencies, and finds that all three estimate that some of the crops diverted from food to biofuels are not replaced by planting crops elsewhere. About 20 to 50 percent of the net calories diverted to make ethanol are not replaced through the planting of additional crops.

22 July 2014

The Global Calculator is an open-source interactive tool allows you to explore all the options we have to reduce emissions through changing our technologies, fuels, land use and lifestyles up to the year 2050. It is funded by the UK Government’s International Climate Fund and the EU’s Climate-KIC, and has been built by an international team.

22 July 2014

This twentieth edition of the Agricultural Outlook, and the tenth prepared jointly between OECD and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), provides market projections to 2023 for major agricultural commodities, biofuels and fish across 41 countries and 12 regions: OECD member countries (European Union as a region), key non-OECD agricultural producers (such as India, China, Brazil, Russian Federation and Argentina) and groups of smaller non-OECD economies in a more aggregated form. This edition includes a special focus on India.

27 March 2014

We include this initiative because it addresses the challenges of of ‘closing the food loop’. This innovative solar-thermal toilet was developed by a team led by CU-Boulder Professor Karl Linden to improve sanitation and hygiene in developing countries.

27 February 2014

A recent study from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research finds that the UK is failing to make the most of its abundant biomass potential. The researchers found that almost half, up to 44%, of the UK's energy could be produced within the country by using biomass sources, including household waste, agricultural residues and home-grown biofuels. The UK currently produces about half of the food it consumes, and is ~60% ‘self-sufficient’. Although complete food self-sufficiency is not the current goal, the researchers stress that improved food system adaptive capacity is important if the UK is to cope with future stresses in the food system.

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