The potential for bioenergy crops to contribute to meeting GB heat and electricity demands

Shifeng Wang, Astley Hastings, Sicong Wang, Gilla Sunnenberg, Matthew J. Tallis, Eric Casella, Simon Taylor, Peter Alexander, Iwona Cisowska, Andrew Lovett, Gail Taylor, Steven Firth, Dominic Moran, James Morison, Pete Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


The paper presents a model system, which consists of a partial equilibrium model and process-based terrestrial biogeochemistry models, to determine the optimal distributions of both Miscanthus (Miscanthus × giganteus) and short rotation coppice willow (SRC) (Salix. viminalis L. x S. viminalis var Joruun) in Great Britain (GB), as well as their potential contribution to meet heat and electricity demand in GB. Results show that the potential contribution of Miscanthus and SRC to heat and electricity demand is significant. Without considering farm-scale economic constraints, Miscanthus and SRC could generate, in an economically competitive way compared with other energy generation costs, 224 800 GWh yr heat and 112 500 GWh yr electricity, with 8 Mha of available land under Miscanthus and SRC, accounting for 66% of total heat demand and 62% of total electricity demand respectively. Given the pattern of heat and electricity demand, and the relative yields of Miscanthus and SRC in different parts of GB, Miscanthus is mainly favoured in the Midlands and areas in the South of GB, whereas SRC is favoured in Scotland, the Midlands and areas in the South of GB.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-141
Number of pages6
JournalGlobal Change Biology. Bioenergy
Issue number2
Early online date31 Oct 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


  • combined heat and power
  • electricity
  • greenhouse gas
  • heat
  • miscanthus
  • renewable energy
  • short rotation coppice


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