Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Energy crops: Achieving a balance

Date:
September 13, 2011
Source:
Teagasc
Summary:
There has been much debate about the net benefit of growing energy crops to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While it is accepted that energy crops can displace fossil fuel imports, the emissions from the cultivation of energy crops were until now uncertain. Agricultural researchers have now carried out a number of research projects to quantify the greenhouse gas emissions associated with these crops.

Eddy covariance tower.
Credit: Image courtesy of Teagasc

There has been much debate about the net benefit of growing energy crops to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While it is accepted that energy crops can displace fossil fuel imports, the emissions from the cultivation of energy crops were until now uncertain.

Teagasc has carried out a number of research projects to quantify the greenhouse gas emissions associated with these crops.

One of the surprising findings of the research was that the conversion of grassland to biomass, which was previously thought to lead to large soil carbon losses, in fact maintained or improved the carbon balance through higher annual carbon sequestration rates and lower than expected carbon losses from ploughing.

"Perennial biomass, such as miscanthus and short rotation willow coppice, can form part of a sustainable solution to Ireland's future energy requirement. At the same time this will offset part of the greenhouse gas emissions within the agricultural sector," explains Dr Gary Lanigan at Teagasc's Environment, Soil and Land Use Department at Johnstown Castle.

However, challenges remain, explains Dr Lanigan: "The government's target is to supply 12% of national heat demand through co-firing with renewable resources by 2020. But, it takes years for energy crops to mature and to reach maximum sequestration potential. Therefore, urgent policies are required to encourage large-scale adoption of these systems."

"To incentivise the growing of energy crops, financial mechanisms would need to be put in place to allow agriculture to benefit from the greenhouse gas reductions associated with fossil fuel displacement. "Perennial biomass crops are ideally placed to be incentivised through an initial Domestic Offsetting scheme," concludes Dr Lanigan.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Teagasc. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Teagasc. "Energy crops: Achieving a balance." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110913171719.htm>.
Teagasc. (2011, September 13). Energy crops: Achieving a balance. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110913171719.htm
Teagasc. "Energy crops: Achieving a balance." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110913171719.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Great British Farmland Boom

The Great British Farmland Boom

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 17, 2014) Britain's troubled Co-operative Group is preparing to cash in on nearly 18,000 acres of farmland in one of the biggest UK land sales in decades. As Ivor Bennett reports, the market timing couldn't be better, with farmland prices soaring over 270 percent in the last 10 years. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Change of Diet Helps Crocodile Business

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 16, 2014) Crocodile farming has been a challenge in Zimbabwe in recent years do the economic collapse and the financial crisis. But as Ciara Sutton reports one of Europe's biggest suppliers of skins to the luxury market has come up with an unusual survival strategy - vegetarian food. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins