IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change

8.4.4 Bioenergy feed stocks from agriculture

Bioenergy to replace fossil fuels can be generated from agricultural feedstocks, including by-products of agricultural production, and dedicated energy crops. Residues from agriculture

The energy production and GHG mitigation potentials depend on yield/product ratios, and the total agricultural land area as well as type of production system. Less intensive management systems require re-use of residues for maintaining soil fertility. Intensively managed systems allow for higher utilization rates of residues, but also usually deploy crops with higher crop-to-residue ratios.

Estimates of energy production potential from agricultural residues vary between 15 and 70 EJ/yr. The latter figure is based on the regional production of food (in 2003) multiplied by harvesting or processing factors, and assumed recoverability factors. These figures do not subtract the potential competing uses of agricultural residues which, as indicated by (Junginger et al., 2001), can reduce significantly the net availability of agricultural residues for energy or materials. In addition, the expected future availability of residues from agriculture varies widely among studies. Dried dung can also be used as an energy feedstock. The total estimated contribution could be 5 to 55 EJ/yr worldwide, with the range defined by current global use at the low end, and technical potential at the high end. Utilization in the longer term is uncertain because dung is considered to be a “poor man’s fuel”.

Organic wastes and residues together could supply 20-125 EJ/yr by 2050, with organic wastes making a significant contribution.