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Assessing the potential for novel bioenergy crops in the UK under a changing climate. - AC0312

Description
The overall aim of this project is to assess the potential for future bioenergy crops in the UK using the UKCP09 projections. It follows on from work undertaken at Fera in work funded by DECC. The objectives of this original study were to:

• Identify any crop for any non-food purpose that will grow in the UK following climate change.
• Assume crops will be exploited using all available technologies, including anaerobic digestion and gasification.
• Take into account the Gallagher Review's recommendations on avoiding land use change (i.e. crops must be grown on "idle or marginal" land).
• Focus on crops with low or zero nutrient and/or water requirements (i.e. those that can be grown on "idle or marginal" land).
• Use research carried out overseas and published in languages other than English, specifically research taking place in southern temperate and Mediterranean-style climates.
• Produce quantifiable data in SI units; a short summary report for policy makers; and a ranked list of energy crops with justification for their selection and rank.

This current project will consider the 'best' crops identified in the Fera study and assess their potential as future bioenergy crops in the UK using the UKCP09 projections. The first objective is to conduct a pilot study using a single crop species to test a novel methodology and to produce a protocol for further analyses. The proposed methodology will produce suitability maps for each species at future points in time. The maps will be produced using several data sets from:

• Projected weather data (air temperature, rainfall etc) - sourced from UKCP09
• Agricultural Land Classifications (good – poor production quality of ground) - sourced from Natural England and elsewhere

The analyses will be at a relatively crude level. This is because the background data available lack precision and the analysis will rely on the estimation of 'threshold' values for the temperatures and amounts of rainfall that will limit growth and/or survival. The analyses will be carried out using, and producing, GIS outputs. Data will be downloaded from UKCP09 as shape files on a 25km grid and manipulations and calculations will be carried out in Excel and GenStat. If this approach is successful then the second objective is to screen the other potential bioenergy species using the same methodology and identify those that might be most suitable for further experimental and economic studies.
Objective
7. (b) Objectives

The overall aim of this project is to assess the potential for future biomass crops in the UK using the UKCP09 projections. The two objectives are:

1. Conduct a pilot study using a single crop species to test the methodology proposed to assess the potential for future biomass or bioenergy crops in the UK using the UKCP09 projections and produce a protocol for future analyses.

2. Screen other species using the above methodology (if successful) and identify those species that might be most suitable for further experimental and economic studies.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Report potential future biomass crops   (334k)
• ANX - Annex : Potential future biomass crops   (140k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2010

To: 2010

Cost: £50,009
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Warwick - HRI
Keywords
              
Fields of Study
Agriculture and Climate Change