Ever since the production of feedstock for bioenergy gained popularity, the big discussion about indirect land-use change started. There is never enough land available for bioenergy crop production due to various environmental, economic and social constraints.
Interestingly, however, a team of 11 scientists from seven European countries and the US, published a study in the journal BioRisk, where they explain scientifically how to reassess land availability for bioenergy feedstock production, and how to optimize the use of, what they referred to as, surplus land.
It is clear that “food vs fuel” discussion would continue and concepts such as spatial segregation of areas will continue emerging. The conflict here arises from the confusion of the applicability of these concepts, mainly because there is unclear definition of the so-called ‘surplus’ land on a national and global scale.
In this respect, Dr Dauber, the lead author of the publication, states that it is still not fully understood how much land is available for bioenergy mainly due to socio-economic and environmental factors in these areas.
The authors urge for clear definitions of the terminology. They believe that efficient and sustainable strategy for bioenergy land use could be established only if both constraints and options, provided by the novel cropping systems, are considered.