Imperial College London

DrJemWoods

Faculty of Natural SciencesCentre for Environmental Policy

Reader in Sustainable Development
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 9328jeremy.woods Website

 
 
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Location

 

1.02Weeks BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

68 results found

Strapasson A, Woods J, Meessen J, Mwabonje O, Baudry G, Mbuk Ket al., EU Land Use Futures: Modelling Food, Bioenergy and Carbon Dynamics, Energy Strategy Reviews, Vol: 31, ISSN: 2211-467X

This paper presents an original system dynamics model, which aims to assess how changes in diet, agricultural practices, bioenergy and forestry could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We demonstrate that changes in types and quantities of food consumed and reductions in food wastes along with sustainable bioenergy and forestry dynamics would materially assist the EU in meeting its 2050 climate mitigation obligations. We find that overall rates of EU-28 greenhouse gas emissions are highly sensitive to the food trade balance, both within and outside the EU. Land use itself is often under-represented as a major option for carbon mitigation in policy strategies, but our results show that it must become a central component aligned with energy system decarbonisation if material levels of warming mitigation are to be achieved.

Journal article

Hannon JR, Lynd LR, Andrade O, Benavides PT, Beckham GT, Biddy MJ, Brown N, Chagas MF, Davison BH, Foust T, Junqueira TL, Laser MS, Li Z, Richard T, Tao L, Tuskan GA, Wang M, Woods J, Wyman CEet al., 2020, Technoeconomic and life-cycle analysis of single-step catalytic conversion of wet ethanol into fungible fuel blendstocks, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol: 117, Pages: 12576-12583, ISSN: 0027-8424

Technoeconomic and life-cycle analyses are presented for catalytic conversion of ethanol to fungible hydrocarbon fuel blendstocks, informed by advances in catalyst and process development. Whereas prior work toward this end focused on 3-step processes featuring dehydration, oligomerization, and hydrogenation, the consolidated alcohol dehydration and oligomerization (CADO) approach described here results in 1-step conversion of wet ethanol vapor (40 wt% in water) to hydrocarbons and water over a metal-modified zeolite catalyst. A development project increased liquid hydrocarbon yields from 36% of theoretical to >80%, reduced catalyst cost by an order of magnitude, scaled up the process by 300-fold, and reduced projected costs of ethanol conversion 12-fold. Current CADO products conform most closely to gasoline blendstocks, but can be blended with jet fuel at low levels today, and could potentially be blended at higher levels in the future. Operating plus annualized capital costs for conversion of wet ethanol to fungible blendstocks are estimated at $2.00/GJ for CADO today and $1.44/GJ in the future, similar to the unit energy cost of producing anhydrous ethanol from wet ethanol ($1.46/GJ). Including the cost of ethanol from either corn or future cellulosic biomass but not production incentives, projected minimum selling prices for fungible blendstocks produced via CADO are competitive with conventional jet fuel when oil is $100 per barrel but not at $60 per barrel. However, with existing production incentives, the projected minimum blendstock selling price is competitive with oil at $60 per barrel. Life-cycle greenhouse gas emission reductions for CADO-derived hydrocarbon blendstocks closely follow those for the ethanol feedstock.

Journal article

Strapasson A, Woods J, Pérez-Cirera V, Elizondo A, Cruz-Cano D, Pestiaux J, Cornet M, Chaturvedi Ret al., 2020, Modelling carbon mitigation pathways by 2050: insights from the global calculator, Energy Strategy Reviews, Vol: 29, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 2211-467X

The Global Calculator (GC) can be used to assess a wide range of climate change mitigation pathways. The GC is an accessible integrated model which calculates the cumulative emissions of a basket of the main greenhouse gases that result from a set of technological and lifestyle choices made at the global level and as defined by the user within a single system dynamics tool. Using the GC, we simulated ambitious scenarios against business as usual trends in order to stay below 2oC and 1.5oC of maximum temperature change by the end of this century and carried out a sensitivity analysis of the entire GC model option space. We show that the calculator is useful for making broad simulations for energy, carbon and land use dynamics, and demonstrate how combined and sustained mitigation efforts across different sectors are urgently needed to meet climate targets.

Journal article

Woods J, Hoare V, 2020, Comprehending Climate Complexities: The Global and European Calculators are tools that can be used for both exploring the future of our climate and working out what can be done about it., GEOExPro

Journal article

Strapasson A, Mwabonje O, Woods J, Baudry Get al., 2020, Pathways towards a fair and just net-zero emissions Europe by 2050: Insights from the EUCalc for carbon mitigation strategies, Publisher: European Commission, 9

HEADLINES:• Achieving socially just and sustainable transition to a net-zero emissions Europe by 2050 requires urgent and substantive changes in the use of technology and the behavioural choices of its people. • These changes will be pervasive, covering all sectors of the economy, from transport, manufacturing, agriculture and power generation. The choices we make as individuals and as national governments of services and goods we produce and consume, e.g. the foods we grow and eat, the sizes of our households and how we heat and cool them, our mobility and in our trading relationships with the rest of the world, are key determinants of successfully meeting the climate challenge. • It is possible to achieve a net-zero greenhouse gas emission in Europe by 2050, in time to meet global climate targets, but it requires unprecedented levels of innovations in technologies and in the adoption of sustainable lifestyles, diets and land use. • Avoiding confounding carbon leakage: the international trade balance (imports vs. exports) in the EU has and will continue to have a significant impact on internal EU and external (rest of the world) greenhouse gas emissions, materially affecting the EU’s timeline to achieving net zero and globally effective climate mitigation.• Policies that support the accelerated decoupling of economic growth from greenhouse gas emissions are needed along with incentives for the rest of the world to decarbonise if confounding leakage is to be avoided. • No single sector can, by itself, materially reduce or sequester greenhouse gases; however, actions affecting the carbon stocks on land and the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture are urgently required. • Systemic changes at personal, local, national and regional levels are all important and publicly acceptable policies for transitioning to a net-zero emissions society are fundamental in order to meet the EU climate change targets. • Tools, such as th

Report

Baudry G, Mwabonje O, Strapasson A, Woods Jet al., 2020, Mitigating GHG Emissions through Agriculture and Sustainable Land Use: An Overview on the EUCalc Food & Land Module, www.european-calculator.eu, Publisher: European Commission, 5

HEADLINES:• Several options are available for evaluating potential agriculture and land use interventions by 2050, including: climate smart production systems for crops, livestock and forestry products, land management, alternative protein sources for livestock, bioenergy, and the management of organic wastes and residues.• Agriculture and land use can either help mitigate GHG emissions through enhancing the net land carbon sink or exacerbate emissions by emitting more GHGs than are taken up overtime.• With combined action at the highest levels of mitigation ambition in the food (supply and demand) and agricultural sectors, we estimate that over 1 000 Million tonnes of CO2 removals per year could be generated by 2050. This would require systemic, sustained and transformative change in the levels of technological and behavioural innovation applied in all EU Member States. • Changes in diet are a significant driver that enable and/or disable the range and extent of the sustainable mitigation options for the agricultural production system. Agroecology is a suitable option for the European agriculture production system, only when a dietary shift occurs that reduces demand for high emission agricultural products. • Agricultural intensification can ‘free up’ the land needed, expanding forests and grasslands, but there are inherent limits for achieving sustainable intensification without causing major impacts on animal welfare, biodiversity and natural resources such as water and plant nutrients.• The EU international food trade balance (imports vs. exports) has and will continue to have a significant impact on land use dynamics inside and outside Europe. • Climate change mitigation efforts on Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) and sustainable biomass provision are fundamental components in achieving a net zero-emission pathway, when carefully implemented along with ambitious levels of mitigation in the transport

Report

Strapasson A, Woods J, Donaldson A, 2020, Bulb Calculator: An Independent Review, London, Publisher: Imperial College Consultants

Report commissioned by Bulb Energy Limited (UK). This report is the independent expert opinion of the authors.

Report

Anejionu OCD, Woods J, 2019, Preliminary farm-level estimation of 20-year impact of introduction of energy crops in conventional farms in the UK, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol: 116, Pages: 1-14, ISSN: 1364-0321

There is a renewed interest in large-scale production of non-food energy crops in the UK to enable it to meet its renewable energy targets. There are strong indications that with increasing demand for biomass feedstocks, energy crops will be grown in arable farms alongside food crops. This raises environmental, socio-political and economic concerns on the energy-food-environment balance. It also raises a fundamental question on where and how much bioenergy crop could be cultivated in farms without adversely affecting food production and ecosystem services. Therefore, this research sets out to firstly ascertain whether the introduction of bioenergy crops in conventional farms could have beneficial or adverse effects on food production and the environment, and secondly, to explore various strategies through which bioenergy crops could be integrated in farms. Spatially explicit datasets and models were used to investigate the interaction of energy and food crops at the farm level, and associated effects over a 20-year period. Using appropriate biophysical and biomass indicators the impacts of were assessed. This study found that careful integration of Miscanthus in farms is beneficial as it reduces sediment and nutrient loss, and increases biomass yield, without adversely affecting food production. This research is significant as it demonstrates the potential of largescale production of bioenergy crops from fragmented sources. It also presented effective strategies through which bioenergy crops can co-exist with food crops, without leading to the food-energy-environment trilemma.

Journal article

Strapasson A, Falcão J, Rossberg T, Buss G, Woods J, Peterson Set al., 2019, Land use change and the European biofuels policy: The expansion of oilseed feedstocks on lands with high carbon stocks, OCL - Oilseeds and fats, crops and lipids, Vol: 26, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 2272-6977

The focus of this article is on the potential land use change impacts associated with the oilseed-based biodiesel consumption. The three main crops used for biodiesel production to date are oilseed rape (OSR), soybeans and oil palm. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to provide a technical assessment of potential land use change arising from the growth of these three major crops at global level, obtained through a broad country-level analysis for their respective major producing countries. The article presents an historical data analysis, evaluating the interaction between the expansion and contraction of these three crops over the last three decades (with a closer look from 2008) together with the carbon stock changes to the land. We categorise the land use by its carbon stock and resulting carbon stock changes from land use change. Crops aimed at the production of ethanol, such as maize (corn), sugarcane, wheat, cassava and sugar beet, although extremely relevant for biofuel policies, are not the subject of this present study. While we did not know at the time of writing this report how the term “significant” would be defined in the EU delegated act we concluded from the analysis of the historical data and using the high ILUC-risk definition as it stands, that the emissions associated with palm and soy are significant. For oil palm, we take Indonesia and Malaysia as proxy for the global position. We calculate an average expansion of 29% on high carbon stock land. For soy, we calculate a global average of 19% expansion. We calculate the global average greenhouse gas emissions intensities based on the ILUC-risks as 56 gCO2eq/MJ for soy oil and 108 gCO2eq/MJ for palm oil. Future projections (OECD-FAO, 2017) suggest these numbers could drop significantly. We do not find evidence for high ILUC-risk expansion of oilseed rape.

Journal article

Ni Y, Mwabonje ON, Richter GM, Qi A, Yeung K, Patel M, Woods Jet al., 2019, Assessing availability and greenhouse gas emissions of lignocellulosic biomass feedstock supply - case study for a catchment in England, Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Vol: 13, Pages: 568-581, ISSN: 1932-104X

Feedstocks from lignocellulosic biomass (LCB) include crop residues and dedicated perennial biomass crops. The latter are often considered superior in terms of climate change mitigation potential. Uncertainty remains over their availability as feedstocks for biomass provision and the net greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) during crop production. Our objective was to assess the optimal land allocation to wheat and Miscanthus in a specific case study located in England, to increase biomass availability, improve the carbon balance (and reduce the consequent GHG emissions), and minimally constrain grain production losses from wheat. Using soil and climate variables for a catchment in east England, biomass yields and direct nitrogen emissions were simulated with validated process‐based models. A ‘Field to up‐stream factory gate’ life‐cycle assessment was conducted to estimate indirect management‐related GHG emissions. Results show that feedstock supply from wheat straw can be supplemented beneficially with LCB from Miscanthus grown on selected low‐quality soils. In our study, 8% of the less productive arable land area was dedicated to Miscanthus, increasing total LCB provision by about 150%, with a 52% reduction in GHG emission per ton LCB delivered and only a minor effect on wheat grain production (−3%). In conclusion, even without considering the likely carbon sequestration in impoverished soils, agriculture should embrace the opportunities to provide the bioeconomy with LCB from dedicated, perennial crops.

Journal article

Strapasson A, Falcão J, Rossberg T, Buss G, Woods Jet al., 2019, Land Use Change and the European Biofuels Policy: The expansion of oilseed feedstocks on lands with high carbon stocks, Bedford, United Kingdom, Publisher: LCAworks

Report

Chandra VV, Hemstock SL, Mwabonje ON, N'Yeurt ADR, Woods Jet al., 2018, Life cycle assessment of sugarcane growing process in Fiji, Sugar Tech, Vol: 20, Pages: 692-699, ISSN: 0972-1525

Sugarcane is an economically important crop in Fiji as it has considerable impact on the gross domestic product and around 22% (200,000) of the population is directly or indirectly dependent on the sugarcane industry. Considering the importance of this crop, a life cycle assessment (LCA) was performed in order to understand environmental impacts. In this paper, Fijian sugarcane production was assessed to produce a set of LCA results for defined impacts. The results can be used in subsequent assessments of sugarcane-related products and provide significant insights into the current impacts. Life cycle impact assessment results were generated using CML, ReCiPe and Impact 2002 + models running in Open LCA software using the Ecoinvent database. This connected the system flows and process flow to the product systems in order to calculate the life cycle impact assessment results to be based on local data for comparable and accurate evaluation. Previous analysis revealed that sugarcane production has a considerable impact on global warming potential because of the significant use of fossil fuels in farm machineries and transportation, and the production and use of agrochemicals. Results from this study show that sugarcane production has least impact on ozone layer depletion. Fertilizer production and usage was found to be one of the key issues affecting various impact categories. These results will assist further assessments on the sugarcane products and systems. However, in order to further develop the LCA tool for Fijian agricultural systems, development and testing of life cycle impact assessment models is necessary for Fijian conditions. This will ensure further accuracy of model outputs and supply more realistic and real-time results on emissions.

Journal article

Souza GM, Woods J, 2018, Policy Brief - Sustainable Bioenergy: Latin America and Africa (2018), São Paulo, Brazil, Publisher: SCOPE

Report

Patel MK, Bechu A, Villegas JD, Bergez-Lacoste M, Yeung K, Murphy R, Woods J, Mwabonje O, Ni Y, Patel AD, Gallagher J, Bryant Det al., 2018, Second-generation bio-based plastics are becoming a reality – Non-renewable energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of succinic acidbased plastic end products made from lignocellulosic biomass, Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, Vol: 12, Pages: 426-441, ISSN: 1932-104X

Bio-based and bio-degradable plastics such as polybutylene succinate (PBS) have the potential to become sustainable alternatives to petrochemical-based plastics. Polybutylene succinate can be produced from bio-based succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol using first-generation (1G) or second-generation (2G) sugars. A cradle-to-grave environmental assessment was performed for PBS products in Europe to investigate the non-renewable energy use (NREU) and greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts. The products investigated are single-use trays and agricultural film, with incineration, industrial composting and degradation on agricultural land as end-of-life scenarios. Both end products manufactured from fully bio-based PBS and from partly bio-based PBS (made from bio-based succinic acid and fossil fuel-based 1,4 butanediol) were analysed. We examine corn (1G) as well as corn stover, wheat straw, miscanthus and hardwood as 2G feedstocks. For the cradle-to-grave system, 1G fully bio-based PBS plastic products were found to have environmental impacts comparable with their petrochemical incumbents, while 2G fully bio-based PBS plastic products allow to reduce NREU and GHG by around one third under the condition of avoidance of concentration of sugars and energy integration of the pretreatment process with monomer production. Without energy integration and with concentration of sugars (i.e., separate production), the impacts of 2G fully bio-based PBS products are approximately 15–20% lower than those of 1G fully bio-based PBS products. The environmental analysis of PBS products supports the value proposition related to PBS products while also pointing out areas requiring further research and development.

Journal article

Di Lucia L, Usai D, Woods J, 2018, Designing landscapes for sustainable outcomes - The case of advanced biofuels, LAND USE POLICY, Vol: 73, Pages: 434-446, ISSN: 0264-8377

Journal article

Millington JDA, Xiong H, Peterson S, Woods Jet al., 2017, Integrating Modelling Approaches for Understanding Telecoupling: Global Food Trade and Local Land Use, Land, Vol: 6, ISSN: 2073-445X

The telecoupling framework is an integrated concept that emphasises socioeconomic and environmental interactions between distant places. Viewed through the lens of the telecoupling framework, land use and food consumption are linked across local to global scales by decision-makingagents and trade flows. Quantitatively modeling the dynamics of telecoupled systems like this could be achieved using numerous different modelling approaches. For example, previous approaches to modelling global food trade have often used partial equilibrium economic models, whereas recent approaches to representing local land use decision-making have widely used agent-based modelling. System dynamics models are well established for representing aggregated flows andstores of products and values between distant locations. We argue that hybrid computational models will be useful for capitalising on the strengths these different modelling approaches each have for representing the various concepts in the telecoupling framework. However, integrating multiple modelling approaches into hybrid models faces challenges, including data requirements and uncertainty assessment. To help guide the development of hybrid models for investigating sustainability through the telecoupling framework here we examine important representational and modelling considerations in the context of global food trade and local land use. We report on the development of our own model that incorporates multiple modelling approaches in a modular approach to negotiate the trade-offs between ideal representation and modelling resource constraints. In this initial modelling our focus is on land use and food trade in and between USA, China and Brazil, but also accounting for the rest of the world. We discuss the challenges of integrating multiple modelling approaches to enable analysis of agents, flows, and feedbacks in the telecoupled system. Our analysis indicates differences in representation of agency are possible and should be

Journal article

Fritsche UR, Berndes B, Cowie AL, Dale VH, Kline KL, Johnson FX, Langeveld H, Sharma N, Watson H, Woods Jet al., 2017, Sustainable energy options and implications for land use, Working Paper for the Global Land Outlook

This Global Land Outlook working paper is one of a series that aims to synthesize and compile know¬ledge, focus on the land-energy nexus (i.e., taking into account food and water) and provi¬de data, contexts, and recom¬men¬da¬tions on the interaction between energy and land. The normative framework for analysis will be the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).Since the mandate of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is to combat global desertification and land degradation, the land “footprint” of energy supply and use, referred to in SDG 15, is of particular inte¬rest. Currently, approximately 90 percent of global energy demand is met from non-renewable energy (mainly fossil), which leaves its footprint on land through resource extraction (e.g., coal mi¬ning), conversion (e.g., refineries, power plants) and their respective infrastructure (e.g., pipelines, fuel storage, transmission lines). Similarly, the development of renewable energies, such as biomass, geothermal, hydro, solar and wind, has land consequences, although these differ in scope and form. This paper identifies and compares the land impact of all terrestrial energy forms. It also focuses on the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the use and supply of energy, as well as the maintenance and enhancement of terrestrial carbon sinks that are essential to mitigating climate change, as set forth in SDG 13 and the Paris Agreement of 12 December 2015. Meeting these goals will require a rapid scale up of low-carbon, sustainable energy sources and their efficient distribution. Many of these activities have significant implications for land use, management and planning. Energy and land use are further linked to issues addres¬sed by other SDGs, such as those that relate to biodiversity, employment, rural develop¬ment, soil degradation and water, among others. These linkages are briefly discussed in this publication.

Report

Strapasson A, Woods J, Chum H, Kalas N, Shah N, Rosillo-Calle Fet al., 2017, On the global limits of bioenergy and land use for climate change mitigation, Global Change Biology Bioenergy, Vol: 9, Pages: 1721-1735, ISSN: 1757-1693

Across energy, agricultural and forestry landscapes, the production of biomass for energy has emerged as a controversial driver of land-use change. We present a novel, simple methodology, to probe the potential global sustainability limits of bioenergy over time for energy provision and climate change mitigation using a complex-systems approach for assessing land-use dynamics. Primary biomass that could provide between 70 EJ year−1 and 360 EJ year−1, globally, by 2050 was simulated in the context of different land-use futures, food diet patterns and climate change mitigation efforts. Our simulations also show ranges of potential greenhouse gas emissions for agriculture, forestry and other land uses by 2050, including not only above-ground biomass-related emissions, but also from changes in soil carbon, from as high as 24 GtCO2eq year−1 to as low as minus 21 GtCO2eq year−1, which would represent a significant source of negative emissions. Based on the modelling simulations, the discussions offer novel insights about bioenergy as part of a broader integrated system. Whilst there are sustainability limits to the scale of bioenergy provision, they are dynamic over time, being responsive to land management options deployed worldwide.

Journal article

Ni Y, Mwabonje O, Richter GM, Yeung K, Qi A, Woods J, Patel MKet al., 2017, Integrating Miscanthus into Arable System to Secure Sustainable Feedstock Supply for Lignocellulosic Succinic Acid Production, 25th European Biomass Conference and Exhibition (EUBCE)

Conference paper

Woods J, Chaturvedi R, Strapasson A, Millington J, Petersen Set al., 2016, Assessing the climate impacts of Chinese dietary choices using a telecoupled global food trade and local land use framework, Beijing, Global Land Project 3rd Open Science Meeting, Publisher: Global Land Programme, Pages: 109-109

Global emissions trajectories developed to meet the 2⁰C temperature target are likely to rely on the widespread deployment of negative emissions technologies and/or the implementation of substantial terrestrial carbon sinks. Such technologies include afforestation, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS), but mitigation options for agriculture appear limited. For example, using the Global Calculator tool (http://www.globalcalculator.org/), under a 2⁰C pathway, the ‘forests and other land use’ sector is projected to become a major carbon sink, reaching -15 GtCO2e yr-1 by 2050, compared to fossil emissions of 21 GtCO2e yr-1. At the same time, rates of agricultural emissions remain static at about 6 GtCO2e yr-1, despite increasing demands for crop and livestock production to meet the forecast dietary demands of the growing and increasingly wealthy global population. Emissions in the Global Calculator are sensitive to the assumed global diet, and particularly to the level and type of meat consumption, which in turn drive global land use patterns and agricultural emissions. Here we assess the potential to use a modified down-scaled Global Calculator methodology embedded within the telecoupled global food trade framework, to estimate the agricultural emissions and terrestrial carbon stock impacts in China and Brazil, arising from a plausible range of dietary choices in China. These dietary choices are linked via telecoupling mechanisms to Brazilian crop production (e.g. Brazilian soy for Chinese animal feed provision) and drive land and global market dynamics. ‘Spill-over’ impacts will also be assessed using the EU and Malawi as case studies.

Conference paper

Kumar R, Woods J, 2016, The Financial Times COP21 Climate Change Calculator: http://ig.ft.com/sites/climate-change-calculator/, How we developed the COP21 Climate Change Calculator, London, UK, Publisher: The Financial Times Online

The COP21 climate change calculator provides an interactive description of how carbon pollution reduction over the period 2013-2100 could impact global temperatures. Using the tool, you can track and project greenhouse gas emissions from major economies over the period 1990-2100. Emission values for each country for the period 1870-2012 are built into the tool but you can alternatively set your own emissions trajectories on a country-by-country basis for the periods 2013-2030, 2030-2050 and 2050-2100 to see when, where and how much action must be taken in order to limit warming to different levels.For each country, the range of possible emissions values stretches from high projections assuming the absence of any climate change action, to those required from each country in order to meet the global 2°C goal. There are large uncertainties about the extent to which emissions will and can change for all countries in the absence of climate change action, and about what each country should or could do to limit warming. The model underpinning the COP21 Calculator does not allow exploration of these uncertainties.

Report

Hodgson E, Ruiz-Molina M-E, Marazza D, Pogrebnyakova E, Burns C, Higson A, Rehberger M, Hiete M, Gyalai-Korpos M, Di Lucia L, Noel Y, Woods J, Gallagher Jet al., 2016, Horizon scanning the European bio-based economy: a novel approach to the identification of barriers and key policy interventions from stakeholders in multiple sectors and regions, Biofuels Bioproducts & Biorefining-Biofpr, Vol: 10, Pages: 508-522, ISSN: 1932-104X

There is international recognition that developing a climate-smart bioeconomy is essential to the continuation of economic development, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and adaptation to climatic change; Bio-based products have an important role in making this transition happen. Supporting policy interventions have been put forward at European and national levels to support innovation and development of bio-based products and services. This study asks whether suggested policy interventions reflect the needs of stakeholders and examines how these needs vary between European regions. This consultation was performed through an online survey of 447 experts actively involved in bio-based research, industry, and governance across Europe. The majority of responses received were from stakeholders in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK which are examined in greater depth.Climate change was clearly an important driver for bio-based innovation as 86% of the respondents considered climate change to be a significant threat. There were clear differences between regions but also areas of consensus between stakeholders across the European regions surveyed. In particular there was consensus regarding the need for improved access to financial support and the need to ensure continuity of policy. The need to build investor confidence through demonstration of bio-based technologies, the provision of greater clarity regarding best conversion routes for specific feedstocks, and the need to promote a culture of industrial symbiosis were also regarded as important interventions.

Journal article

Kline KL, Msangi S, Dale VH, Woods J, Souza GM, Osseweijer P, Clancy JS, Hilbert JA, Johnson FX, McDonnell PC, Mugera HKet al., 2016, Reconciling food security and bioenergy: priorities for action, GCB Bioenergy, Vol: 9, Pages: 557-576, ISSN: 1757-1707

Understanding the complex interactions among food security, bioenergy sustainability, and resource management requires a focus on specific contextual problems and opportunities. The United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals place a high priority on food and energy security; bioenergy plays an important role in achieving both goals. Effective food security programs begin by clearly defining the problem and asking, ‘What can be done to assist people at high risk?’ Simplistic global analyses, headlines, and cartoons that blame biofuels for food insecurity may reflect good intentions but mislead the public and policymakers because they obscure the main drivers of local food insecurity and ignore opportunities for bioenergy to contribute to solutions. Applying sustainability guidelines to bioenergy will help achieve near- and long-term goals to eradicate hunger. Priorities for achieving successful synergies between bioenergy and food security include the following: (1) clarifying communications with clear and consistent terms, (2) recognizing that food and bioenergy need not compete for land and, instead, should be integrated to improve resource management, (3) investing in technology, rural extension, and innovations to build capacity and infrastructure, (4) promoting stable prices that incentivize local production, (5) adopting flex crops that can provide food along with other products and services to society, and (6) engaging stakeholders to identify and assess specific opportunities for biofuels to improve food security. Systematic monitoring and analysis to support adaptive management and continual improvement are essential elements to build synergies and help society equitably meet growing demands for both food and energy.

Journal article

Ni Y, Mwabonje O, Richter MR, Qi A, Yeung K, Woods Jet al., 2016, Assessing Availability and Environmental Impacts of Lignocellulosic Feedstock Supply - Case Study for a Catchment in England, International Bioenergy Conference and Exhibition (IBCE)

Conference paper

Strapasson A, Woods J, Mbuk K, 2016, Land Use Futures in Europe: How changes in diet, agricultural practices and forestlands could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Vienna, 23rd European Meetings on Cybernetics and Systems Research (EMCSR), Publisher: Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (BCSSS), Pages: 106-109

Conference paper

Kline KL, Msangi S, Dale VH, Woods J, Souza GM, Osseweijer P, Clancy JS, Hilbert JA, Mugera HK, McDonnell PC, Johnson FXet al., Reconciling biofuels and food security: priorities for action, Global Change Biology Bioenergy, ISSN: 1757-1693

Addressing the challenges of understanding and managing complex interactions among food security, biofuels, and resource management requires a focus on specific contextual problems and opportunities. The United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals prioritize food and energy security; bioenergy plays an important role in achieving both goals. Effective food security programs begin by clearly defining the problem and asking, “What can be done to effectively assist people at high risk?” Headlines and cartoons that blame biofuels for food insecurity may reflect good intentions but mislead the public and policy makers because they obscure the main drivers of local food insecurity and ignore opportunities for biofuels to contribute to solutions. Applying sustainability guidelines to bioenergy will help achieve near- and long- term goals to eradicate hunger. Priorities for achieving successful synergies between bioenergy and food security include (1) clarifying communications with clear and consistent terms, (2) recognizing that food and bioenergy need not compete for land and instead, need to be integrated with improved resource management, (3) investing in innovations to build capacity and infrastructure such as rural agricultural extension and technology, (4) promoting stable prices that incentivize local production, (5) adopting flex crops that can provide food along with other products and services to society, and (6) engaging stakeholders in identifying and assessing specific opportunities for biofuels to improve food security. Systematic monitoring and analysis to support adaptive management and continual improvement are essential elements to build synergies and help society equitably meet growing demands for both food and energy.

Journal article

Strapasson A, Woods J, Mbuk K, 2016, Land use futures in Europe: how changes in diet, agricultural practices and forestlands could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Publisher: Imperial College London

Working paper

Koppelaar RHEM, Keirstead J, Shah N, Woods Jet al., 2016, A review of policy analysis purpose and capabilities of electricity system models, Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol: 59, Pages: 1531-1544, ISSN: 1364-0321

Journal article

Mason PM, Glover K, Smith JAC, Willis KJ, Woods J, Thompson IPet al., 2015, The potential of CAM crops as a globally significant bioenergy resource: moving from ‘fuel or food’ to ‘fuel and more food', Energy & Environmental Science, ISSN: 1754-5706

Bioenergy is widely seen as being in competition with food for land resources. This note examines thepotential of plants that use the mode of photosynthesis known as crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) togenerate globally significant quantities of renewable electricity without displacing productive agriculture andperhaps even increasing food supply. CAM plants require of the order of 10-fold less water per unit of drybiomass produced than do common C3 and C4 crops, and because of their succulence are endowed withsubstantial water-storage capacities that helps to buffer intermittent water availability. This allows them tothrive in areas where traditional agriculture struggles, either because of low rainfall, or because the seasonalityor unpredictability of rainfall is too great to allow profitable arable farming. Although as a group these plantsare understudied, sufficient data are available to support estimates of the contribution they might make toglobal electricity supply if used as feedstock for anaerobic digestion. Two CAM species are examined here aspotential bioenergy crops: Opuntia ficus-indica and Euphorbia tirucalli. Both show the high degree of droughttolerance typical of CAM plants and produce promising yields with low rainfall. Even CAM plants in semi-aridareas may have opportunity costs in terms of lost agricultural potential, but an alternative approach tobioenergy may allow the food value of land to be increased whilst using the land for energy. Global powergeneration from gas is around 5 PW h per year. The data suggests that 5 PW h of electricity per year could begenerated from CAM plants cultivated on between 100 and 380 million hectares of semi-arid land, equivalentto between 4% and 15% of the potential resource

Journal article

Diaz-Chavez R, Strapasson AB, Wang L, Kalas Net al., 2015, Assessing sustainability for biomass energy production and use, The Biomass Assessment Handbook: Energy for a Sustainable Environment, Pages: 181-209, ISBN: 9781138019645

Book chapter

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