Projections of global and UK bioenergy potential from Miscanthus x giganteus – feedstock yield, carbon cycling and electricity generation in the 21st century

Anita Shepherd* (Corresponding Author), Emma Littleton, John Clifton-Brown, Mike Martin, Astley Hastings

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)
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In this article, we modify bioenergy model MiscanFor investigating global and UK potentials for Miscanthus × giganteus as a bioenergy resource for carbon capture in the 21st century under the RCP 2.6 climate scenario using SSP2 land use projections. UK bioenergy land projections begin in the 2040s, 60 year average is 0.47 Mega ha rising to 1.9 Mega ha (2090s). Our projections estimate UK energy generation of 0.09 EJ/year (60 year average) and 0.37 EJ/year (2090s), under stable miscanthus yields of 12 t ha −1 year −1. We estimate aggregated UK soil carbon (C) increases of 0.09 Mt C/year (60 year average) and 0.14 Mt C/year (2090s) with C capture plus sequestration rate of 2.8 Mt C/year (60 year average) and 10.49 Mt C/year (2090s). Global bioenergy land use begins in 2010, 90 year average is 0.13 Gha rising to 0.19 Gha by the 2090s, miscanthus projections give a 90 year average energy generation of 16 EJ/year, rising to 26.7 EJ/year by the 2090s. The largest national capabilities for yield, energy and C increase are projected to be Brazil and China. Ninety year average global miscanthus yield of 1 Gt/year will be 1.7 Gt/year by the 2090s. Global soil C sequestration increases less with time, from a century average of 73.6 Mt C/year to 42.9 Mt C/year by the 2090s with C capture plus sequestration rate of 0.54 Gt C/year (60 year average) and 0.81 Gt C/year (2090s). M. giganteus could provide just over 5% of the bioenergy requirement by the 2090s to satisfy the RCP 2.6 SSP2 climate scenario. The choice of global land use data introduces a potential source of error. In reality, multiple bioenergy sources will be used, best suited to local conditions, but results highlight global requirements for development in bioenergy crops, infrastructure and support.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-305
Number of pages19
JournalGlobal Change Biology. Bioenergy
Issue number4
Early online date5 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information
Natural Environment Research Council. Grant Numbers:NE/M019691/1, NE/P019951/1
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council


  • bioenergy
  • carbon
  • climate change
  • crop yield
  • energy generation
  • land use
  • MiscanFor
  • miscanthus
  • modelling
  • RCP 2.6
  • RCP 2
  • 6
  • SOIL


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