Carbon sequestration versus bioenergy: A case study from South India exploring the relative land-use efficiency of two options for climate change mitigation
This study explores avenues to meet increased rural electricity demand with carbon emissions mitigation. The study compares the option of energy derived from gasification of biomass from forest plantations to energy derived from fossil fuels, with forest plantations used as a carbon sink.The case study uses power demand, land requirements, and management approaches for Hosahalli village, Karnataka, pop. 218.
research goals & methods
The energy demand of the village is expected to require 78 MWh from either fossil fuels of 120T of wood per year, grown on 20 Ha of otherwise fallow land. The study compares two fossil fuel electricity generation systems - a coal power plant and a diesel generator - and short- and long-rotation tree plantations. Above- and belowground carbon stocks are taken into account for carbon sequestration purposes. The study assumes that tree carbon is lost to atmosphere after harvest at 6 or 30 years.
conclusions & takeaways
An evaluation of the scenarios on a short time frame favors the option of fossil fuel-generated electricity (either diesel or coal) with tree plantation for carbon sequestration. However, an evaluation on an 100-year timeline favors the bioenergy option. A longer timeline also reduces the incremental cost of monitoring and evaluation.
Carbon sequestration versus bioenergy: A case study from South India exploring the relative land-use efficiency of two options for climate change mitigation. Biomass and Bioenergy. 2010;34:116–123. doi:10.1016/j.biombioe.2009.10.008.
- Department of Energy and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, 412 96 Göteborg, Sweden
- ASTRA & Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, 560 012 Bangalore, India
- Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Department of Water and Environmental Studies, Linköping University, 601 74 Norrköping, Sweden
- Department of Earth Sciences, Göteborg University, 405 30 Göteborg, Sweden