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Carbon Sequestration Versus Bioenergy: A Case Study From South India Exploring The Relative Land Use Efficiency Of Two Options For Climate Change Mitigation

Journal article
Authors Johan Rootzén
Göran Berndes
N. H. Ravindranath
H. I. Somashekar
I. K. Murthy
P. Sudha
Madelene Ostwald
Published in Biomass & Bioenergy
Volume 34
Issue 1
Pages 116-123
ISSN 0961-9534
Publication year 2010
Published at Gothenburg Centre for Globalization and Development (GCGD)
Centre for Environment and Sustainability
Pages 116-123
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2009....
Keywords Land use, LULUCF, Carbon sequestration, Bioenergy, Plantation, India, CDM
Subject categories Technology and social change, Environmental engineering

Abstract

This case study has been carried out as a comparison between two different land-use strategies for climate change mitigation, with possible application within the Clean Development Mechanisms. The benefits of afforestation for carbon sequestration versus for bioenergy production are compared in the context of development planning to meet increasing domestic and agricultural demand for electricity in Hosahalli village, Karnataka, India. One option is to increase the local biomass based electricity generation, requiring an increased biomass plantation area. This option is compared with fossil based electricity generation where the area is instead used for producing wood for non-energy purposes while also sequestering carbon in the soil and standing biomass. The different options have been assessed using the PRO-COMAPmodel. The ranking of the different options varies depending on the system boundaries and time period. Results indicate that, in the short term (30 years) perspective, the mitigation potential of the long rotation plantation is largest, followed by the short rotation plantation delivering wood for energy. The bioenergy option is however preferred if a long-term view is taken. Short rotation forests delivering wood for short-lived non-energy products have the smallest mitigation potential, unless a large share of the wood products are used for energy purposes (replacing fossil fuels) after having served their initial purpose. If managed in a sustainable manner all of these strategies can contribute to the improvement of the social and environmental situation of the local community.

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