Crops of the biofrontier: In search of opportunities for sustainable energy cropping

Describes case studies of energy cropping in Europe in the context of advanced biofuel and bioproducts sustainability. European biofuel policy has been dominated by discussions about the indirect effects of biofuel consumption, and in particular indirect land use change and impacts on food prices and security. One widely considered option to reduce or avoid these risks is to move towards second-generation biofuels from cellulosic feedstocks. Biofuels produced from cellulosic energy crops could deliver high greenhouse gas savings and deliver other environmental benefits if produced sustainably, but on the other hand could lead to environmental damage if energy crops displace food production on agricultural land or negatively impact carbon stocks and biodiversity on undisturbed forest and grassland. With this research, we seek to identify and describe the opportunity for sustainable energy cropping through field work and literature review, including case studies of early energy crop projects in Europe.