Original paper

Uncertainty of biomass contributions from agriculture and forestry to renewable energy resources under climate change

Gutsch, Martin; Lasch-Born, Petra; Lüttger, Andrea B.; Suckow, Felicitas; Murawski, Aline; Pilz, Tobias

Meteorologische Zeitschrift Vol. 24 No. 2 (2015), p. 213 - 223

53 references

published: Apr 13, 2015
published online: Apr 4, 2015
manuscript accepted: Dec 22, 2014
manuscript revision received: Dec 10, 2014
manuscript revision requested: Dec 10, 2014
manuscript received: Sep 4, 2013

DOI: 10.1127/metz/2015/0532

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In the future, Germany's land-use policies and the impacts of climate change on yields will affect the amount of biomass available for energy production. We used recent published data on biomass potentials in the federal states of Germany to assess the uncertainty caused by climate change effects in the potential supply of biomass available for energy production. In this study we selected three climate scenarios representing the maximum, mean and minimum temperature increase for Germany out of 21 CMIP5-projections driven by the Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 8.5 scenario. Each of the three selected projections was downscaled using the regional statistical climate model STARS. We analysed the yield changes of four biomass feedstock crops (forest, short-rotation coppices (SRC), cereal straw (winter wheat) and energy maize) for the period 2031–2060 in comparison to 1981–2010. The mean annual yield changes of energy wood from forest and short-rotation coppices were modelled using the process-based forest growth model 4C. The yield changes of winter wheat and energy maize from agricultural production were simulated with the statistical yield model IRMA. Germany's annual biomass potential of 1500 PJ varies between minus 5 % and plus 8 % depending on the climate scenario realisation. Assuming that 1500 PJ of biomass utilisation can be achieved, climate change effects of minus 75 (5 %) PJ or plus 120 (8 %) PJ do not impede overall bioenergy targets of 1287 PJ in 2020 and 1534 PJ in 2050. In five federal states the climate scenarios lead to decreasing yields of energy maize and winter wheat. Impacts of climate scenarios on forest yields are mainly positive and show both positive and negative effects on yields of SRC.


Climate changeuncertaintybiomass yieldsbioenergy potentialscenario