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Bioenergy could meet global energy demand

The global potential to produce biomass for energy in a sustainable way is sufficient to meet global energy demand, according to a paper by the World Bioenergy Association (WBA) based on a report by the Department of Energy and Technology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

The estimated potential for bioenergy production is 1135-1548 EJ (ExaJoule) in 2050, based on different scientific studies. The global energy consumption is 490 EJ today, and could reach well over 1000 EJ in 2050, according to IEA projections.

Kent Nyström, President of the World Bioenergy Association, says: “There is a lack of awareness of the enormous potential of bioenergy worldwide both among politicians, media and the public. We have to present these facts to the political leaders in Copenhagen since Bioenergy must play a major role in the strategy to combat climate change.”

According to the report, the largest potential for bioenergy comes from biomass production on surplus agricultural lands and degraded lands. The current use of biomass for energy is only 50 EJ, around 10% of global energy consumption.

Bioenergy crops are grown on 25 million hectares, which is only 0.19% of the world’s total land area and 0.5% of the total agricultural land.

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