Annual versus Perennial Energy Crops
Alexopoulou, E., Fernando, A.L., Papatheohari, Y., Cosentino, S.L., Christou, M.
As different sectors – food, feed, fiber, and fuels – compete for land, the yielding potential of the future non-food crops has to be as efficient as possible in order to minimize the competition for land. In the long term, bioenergy crops provide the largest potential. The last two decades several energy crops (and/or non-food crops) have been tested at European level in the framework of several RTD projects. In the framework of 4FCROPS project (www.4fcrops.eu) a list of 15 non-food crops have been selected as the most promising ones and the selected crops were categorized in five groups according to main product (oil, fiber, lignocelluloses, sugar and wood). The selected annual crops were rapeseed, sunflower, Ethiopian mustard, hemp, flax, sweet sorghum and sugar beets, while the selected perennial energy crops were reed canary grass, giant reed, switchgrass, miscanthus, cardoon, willow, poplar and eucalyptus. The main advantage of the annual energy crops is their agronomic management can be easily adapted from their more traditional cultivation practices and they fit in current (rotation) farming systems. The main advantages of perennial energy crops that are being developed for biomass production and their great production potential lies in their low production costs, suitability to marginal and erosive lands, relative low water needs, low nutrient and agrochemical requirements, and positive environmental benefits. It is estimated that with the progress of the second generation biofuels the perennial energy crops will became quite an important source of feedstock, especially if the establishment costs will be reduced and the perennial grasses will domesticated and will be genetically improved.
bioenergy, biobased products, perennial grasses, annual energy crops, SRC crops
Energy crops and energy grasses
21st European Biomass Conference and Exhibition
322 - 325
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