Netherlands and Use Change Associated with Expanded Use of Biofuels and Bioliquids in the EU, 2010
For example, studies indicate
that most European
countries will not have sufficient available land resources to produce the feedstocks required to comply with the blending mandates prescribed in the European Renewables Directive themselves. In the case of Germany, it is projected that by 2030 an estimated 10-11 million hectares of agricultural land would be needed to produce the biomass to comply with the biofuels blending mandate. Given current land use, the majority of that land would be outside Germany and most feedstock
imported, palm oil from Indonesia and soy from Brazil. Figure 3.1.8 Land requirements for biofuels production such as
The Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that that growth in biofuels production from 2004 levels to 2030 will require 35 million hectares of land, an area approximately equal to the combined area of France and Spain. Taking 2004 as its baseline Figure 3.1.8 outlines some scenarios for land requirements. Scenario 1 reflects business as usual, scenario 2 plots an alternative policy under which countries adopt carbon commitments, and scenario 3 follows a second-generation biofuels case.
Given these land constraints, the expanding biofuels industry is likely to lead to conversion of land. If no safeguards are applied or they are inadequate, converting land for biofuels may have negative consequences, depending on the type and the amount of land converted. The effects of land-use change may be direct (LUC) or indirect (iLUC).
Source: Gibbs, H., K., et al., Carbon payback times for crop-based biofuel expansion in the tropics: the effects of changing yield and technology, Environmental Research Letters, 2008.