Agro-ecosystems have large potentials for supporting human well-being and local development, also by providing large amounts of organic matter for bioenergy generation. The use of agricultural residues was proposed as a possible solution to support energy transition, while avoiding conflicts for the use of agricultural land destined to food production. The present work uses an Ecosystem Services (ES) approach to map and estimate the potential availability of agricultural residues (potential ES supply) in the Emilia-Romagna region (Italy), where high productive croplands are present. The map was overlapped with the bioenergy plants currently present in the region (ES demand) that could be sustained by residues, considering a buffer area of 10 km radius for a sustainable supply chain and under the assumption of using only the 25% of total residues. Additionally, suitable areas for bioenergy development were mapped by means of a hotspot analysis. The results showed that the Emilia-Romagna region has a large availability of agricultural residues to be potentially used for bioenergy generation. The 82.4% of the total installed power of biogas plants and the whole installed power of those using woody biomasses may be supported by using agricultural residues. When considering buffer areas for sustainable supply chains, agricultural residues could meet the 95% and 50% of total demand from biogas and solid biomasses plants, respectively. However, competition for agricultural residues among bioenergy plants could arise because of the overlap of their buffer zones. Moreover, hotspot analysis revealed large suitable areas for the development of environmental and cost-effective biogas plants. Contrasting ES supply and demand may unveil unexplored forms of sustainable development in agro-ecosystems, thus contributing to a more rational use of agricultural production which supports renewable energies without competing for the agricultural land.

Modeling the ecosystem service of agricultural residues provision for bioenergy production: A potential application in the Emilia-Romagna region (Italy)

Gaglio M.
Primo
;
Tamburini E.
Secondo
;
Castaldelli G.
Penultimo
;
Fano E. A.
Ultimo
2021

Abstract

Agro-ecosystems have large potentials for supporting human well-being and local development, also by providing large amounts of organic matter for bioenergy generation. The use of agricultural residues was proposed as a possible solution to support energy transition, while avoiding conflicts for the use of agricultural land destined to food production. The present work uses an Ecosystem Services (ES) approach to map and estimate the potential availability of agricultural residues (potential ES supply) in the Emilia-Romagna region (Italy), where high productive croplands are present. The map was overlapped with the bioenergy plants currently present in the region (ES demand) that could be sustained by residues, considering a buffer area of 10 km radius for a sustainable supply chain and under the assumption of using only the 25% of total residues. Additionally, suitable areas for bioenergy development were mapped by means of a hotspot analysis. The results showed that the Emilia-Romagna region has a large availability of agricultural residues to be potentially used for bioenergy generation. The 82.4% of the total installed power of biogas plants and the whole installed power of those using woody biomasses may be supported by using agricultural residues. When considering buffer areas for sustainable supply chains, agricultural residues could meet the 95% and 50% of total demand from biogas and solid biomasses plants, respectively. However, competition for agricultural residues among bioenergy plants could arise because of the overlap of their buffer zones. Moreover, hotspot analysis revealed large suitable areas for the development of environmental and cost-effective biogas plants. Contrasting ES supply and demand may unveil unexplored forms of sustainable development in agro-ecosystems, thus contributing to a more rational use of agricultural production which supports renewable energies without competing for the agricultural land.
2021
Gaglio, M.; Tamburini, E.; Castaldelli, G.; Fano, E. A.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2460652
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