Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: The potential of bio-energy crops to meet Europe's energy needs and reduce greenhouse emissions
Author: Hastings, Astley St. John
ISNI:       0000 0004 2682 645X
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2009
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis focuses on determining the potential of bio-energy crops to contribute to Europe’s future energy needs and to reduce future greenhouse gas emissions. This requires an end-to-end (seed to exhaust gas) analysis of the crop production and enabling technology in terms of energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. The starting point of this research was to consider which energy crops had the potential to grow in future European climate scenarios and to determine those for which models did not exist to make this prediction. Miscanthus was identified as a relatively new crop with 15 years of European growing experience but with limited previous model development.  MISCANMOD, a simple model of Miscanthus crop growth, was improved and rewritten in FORTRAN so that it could be interfaced to use climate scenario, soil property and land use data bases to predict energy yields for current and future climate scenarios. A greenhouse gas emissions and energy balance model was added to investigate the sustainability of Miscanthus as a bio-energy crop. This model was combined with data from other energy crop predictions to determine the energy yields and GHG mitigation of different crops for the various scenarios of future climate, each considering the soil conditions, land available and climatic conditions. We conclude that Miscanthus is the crop with the highest energy yield and largest carbon mitigation potential of all the available energy crops, and that the maximum amount of primary energy that could be produced by bio-energy crops in Europe would represent only 12% of EU 25’s primary energy needs. The carbon intensity of such energy is estimated to be 24% of that for gas. To achieve this level of energy production we show that it is necessary to develop drought and frost resistant hybrids to increase the range of the Miscanthus crop for current and future climate scenarios. This demonstrates that bio-energy is not a panacea but must be considered as part of the strategy to achieve sustainable energy whilst mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Biomass energy ; Energy crops ; Renewable energy sources ; Environmental protection