Scientists collaborate to measure the Green house gas (GHG) balance of bioenergy production in the UK.
ELUM (Ecosystems and Land Use Modelling) is a multimillion pound project funded by a joint incentive of public and private investment from the Energies Technology Institute (ETI). The main aims of this project is to assess whether land conversion to bio-crops produces a carbon sink or carbon source based on the previous land use regime. The project has brought together our countries experts to help answer important questions about future energy security and aims to settle disputes in the current topical debate of land for food vs. fuel. The project output which will likely have the largest impact in the global domain is a publicly accessible resource for land managers to assess whether a conversion to bio-crops will be sustainable and environmentally viable. At the early stages of our investigation, researchers are undertaking a data mining exercise to quantify the current state of knowledge concerning GHG balance of energy cropping and identify knowledge gaps. A network of commercial energy crop production sites is being established. This will form experimental sites where specialized Eddy Covariance equipment will be used to measure carbon dioxide flux on the plantation scale.