The feasibility of large-scale lignocellulose-based bioenergy production
Journal article, 2001
Global, large-scale use of bioenergy may replace a significant part of present fossil fuel use. We show that labor availability and water resources are large compared to those required to operate a bioenergy system of such size. The present study contradicts the assertion by Giampietro et al. [Bioscience 47(9) (1997) 587], that labor and water availability provide invincible barriers to a large-scale use of biofuels. We examine water and labor requirements under more reasonable assumptions about bioenergy supply options and demand levels. Bioenergy supplies are based on dedicated plantations of lignocellulosic crops and bioenergy demand is based on the renewable intensive global energy scenarios (RIGES). We find that labor and water requirements are an order of magnitude lower than the estimates by Giampietro et al. For instance, labor requirements do not exceed 1 percent of the estimated total work force in any country. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.
Net energy yields