Organic Farming Manual

Miracle Farm Blueprint

This guide teaches you how to make the best worm farm that money can buy; and you don't have to spend much money to get a really good quality worm farm! While worms may not seem very impressive, you'd be amazed at what these worms can do. If you want to grow your own food, the best soil that you will ever get is soil that worms have thoroughly turned over. No matter what the soil in your area looks like, you will always be able to get the highest quality soil to grow plants in. You will have the most protein-rich, nutritious, and potent soil that you've ever seen. The all-natural soil that is worm-tended is far better than what you will get from organic growers; all that it takes is the process that nature invented. That's really all you need to get the best organic vegetables! Read more here...

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Conclusions for international development cooperation

Furthermore, the ecological question is also not easy to answer. Environmental advantages are related to reduced GHG emissions this is clear so far. But negative effects may occur through eutrophication, acidification and ozone depletion caused by excessive use of nitrogen fertilizers. Additionally, a serious risk is related to the further reduction and degradation of tropical forests. Appropriate farming methods, such as organic farming, are absolutely necessary to avoid substituting one problem by another.

Bioenergy in relation to agriculture and forestry

Nevertheless, in the European Union and the USA, a major issue in agriculture is over-production of food, as encouraged by agricultural subsidies. Such subsidies increase general taxation and the consequent surpluses of agricultural products distort world trade to the disadvantage of developing countries. As a partial response to such concerns, the European Union Energy developments utilising local crops and established skills are most likely to be socially acceptable. Thus the form of biomass most likely to be viable as an energy source will vary from region to region. Moreover, as with any crop, sustainable agriculture and forestry is required, for instance extensive monocultures are vulnerable to disease and pests and unfriendly to native fauna. Note, too, that greenhouse gas benefits only occur when the biomass is used to replace fossil fuel use, so leaving the abated fossil fuel underground.

Bioenergy and Transportation

With the exception of sugarcane ethanol, the traditional biofuels have a number of severe disadvantages that are related to the feedstock. The current costs of rapeseed biodiesel and ethanol from cereals or beets are much higher than the costs of gasoline and diesel, and substantial subsidies are needed to make them competitive. These high costs are a result of the low net energy yield of most annual crops (100-200 GJ ha yr in the long term 4 ), the high quality agricultural land required, and the intensive management. The lower productivity per hectare and high fertilizer requirement also limit the well-to-wheel reduction of fossil energy use, which limit the environmental benefits 5,6 . The net energy of perennial crops (220-550 GJ ha yr), grasses (220-260 GJ ha yr), and sugar cane (400500 GJ ha yr) is considerably higher, and Brazil has been a world leader in promoting biofuels for 30 years under its Proalcool program.

Bowen ratio Esaens Esat

It is probable that man's quest for agricultural land has had much larger unintended effects than the above-mentioned changes. It is believed that the savannah grasslands in the tropical regions are entirely man-made, since the natural vegetation of these semi-humid regions is dry, deciduous forest. The activities of man have greatly augmented the number of forest fires.

Subsidies per Unit Greenhouse Gas Displaced

The indirect impacts of biofuel production, and in particular the destruction of natural habitats (e.g. rainforests, savannah, or in some cases the exploitation of 'marginal' lands which are in active use, even at reduced productivity, by a range of communities, often poorer households and individuals) to expand agricultural land, may have larger environmental impacts than the direct effects. The indirect GHG emissions of biofuels produced from productive land that could otherwise support food production may be larger than the emissions from an equal amount of fossil fuels.

Analysis And Comparison Of Lifecycle Assessment Studies

We obtain the data for this LCA comparison from the relevant publications and recalculate the environmental impacts consistently for 1 hectare (1 Ha) of agricultural land. In the case of biopolymers, this means that the results refer to the amount of a particular biopolymer that can be produced using the agricultural crop yield available from 1 Ha (e.g., 38 t potatoes to produce starch-

System Application Benefits and Impacts

Siting HDR plants is complicated by the need for the plant to be located at the site of the resource. This may impac t the use of other resources (cultural, agricultural, mining, etc.) at the same location. It would not be unusual for HD R resources to be co-located with mining or agricultural resources.

Resource and environmental management

For goods which may be used for energy purposes (e.g. fuels), the natural energy content is sometimes included in the energy value. There is also some ambiguity in deciding on the accounting procedure for some energy inputs from natural sources. Solar energy input into, for example, agricultural products is usually counted along with energy inputs through fer

Preface Of Windenergy

I am deeply indebted to colleagues, present and past, at the Alternative Energy Institute (AEI) West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) the Wind Energy Group at the Agricultural Research Service the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Bushland, Texas and the students in my classes and those who have worked at AEI who have provided insight and feedback. There are many others who have worked with us at AEI and USDA, especially the numerous international researchers and interns. Thanks also to the Instruction Innovation and Technology Laboratory, WTAMU, for the computer drawings. I want to express gratitude to my wife, Beth, who has put up with me all these years. Even though if you have seen one wind turbine or wind farm, you have seen them all, she does not complain when we make side trips to take more photos.

Photobiological Hydrogen Production Utrilizing Cyanobacteria

Solar energy is the most abundant renewable alternative, and hydrogen is the most likely environmentally friendly future fuel. The amount of solar energy received on Earth's surface amounts to more than 6,000 times of the world social energy consumption (Tab. 1). However, solar energy is diffuse in intensity and its economical utilization is not easy (Tab. 2). In order that H2 substitutes for or supplements fossil fuels, its economical production is essential. Economical photobiological H2 production is indeed challenging tasks, nevertheless it should be pointed out that efficient biological solar energy conversion is already realized to a certain extent in modern agriculture as exemplified by sugar production in sugarcane field at annual solar energy conversion efficiencies of about 1 . The price of crude sugar in New York market has been in the range of 4.3-15.9 cents lb in these ten years. A sugar price of 5 and 15 cents lb corresponds to 1.5 and 0.5 MJ cent or 2.4 and 7.2 cents...

Variations In Wind Power Potential

Von Der Hoven Spectrum

During the investigation of power storage for a wind diesel system, an appropriate wind speed power spectrum became a significant issue 8 . A power spectrum was developed from 13 years of hourly average data, 1 year of 5 min average data, and particularly gusty days, and 1 s data, all at 10 m height. The general shape is similar to the Van der Hoven spectrum however, few of his peaks were found in the power spectrum at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), Bushland, Texas. While higher average wind speeds tend to suggest higher amplitudes in the high-frequency end of the spectrum, this is not always true. Similar results were found for a power spectrum from 3 years of 15 min average data (sample rate, 1 Hz) at a 50 m height near Dalhart, Texas (Alternative Energy Institute met site). For wind speed data around the 40 m height, there would not be a diurnal peak in the continental areas of the United States. The Van der Hoven spectrum is not...

Mans interference with climate

The first significant anthropogenic influence on climate is probably the one associated with extensive destruction of natural vegetation, primarily aimed at transforming it into arable land or pastures. Presently, about 10 of the continental area is cultivated and about 30 is occupied by grassland or pastures (Odum, 1972). The transformation of steppe or forest into arable land has a number of consequences. The components of the net energy flux (2.10) are altered. The net radiation flux is diminished owing to a (modest) increase in surface albedo. The albedos for steppe and coniferous forest (in non-Arctic regions) are about 0.13, for deciduous forest and tropical forest during the dry season 0.18, for tropical forest during wet season 0.24, for savannahs and semi-deserts 0.14 during the dry season and 0.18 during the wet season, and for deserts 0.28 (Budyko, 1974) the mean albedo for cultivated land and pastures is 0.20. Considering the types of transformation taking place, a...

Appendix C Scope And Limitations Of The Special Report

C.4 Concerns about the environmental consequences of growing energy crops and emissions from biomass energy plants have been addressed and the carbon lifecycle examined, as well as the energy balance involved in long-distance transportation of biomass for fuel. Public concerns about the large-scale cultivation and use of energy crops, fears about impacts on traditional farming, the landscape and air quality, have been explored and ways of incorporating them into renewable energy policies have been suggested.

Landscape character assessment

Stanton (1994) suggests some characteristics of the wind farm visual appearance which are considered to be desirable. The development should be simple, logical and avoiding visual confusion. Although one landscape type is no more appropriate for a wind farm development than another this author considers that their suitability for different types of development varies greatly. For example, flat agricultural land is considered suitable for either a small number of wind turbines or large wind farms of similar regularly spaced machines while coastal areas are considered appropriate for large numbers of wind turbines but the development

Social and environmental aspects

The other technologies examined in this chapter (solar crop driers, solar distillation, absorption refrigerators, solar ponds and solar thermal power systems), although not nearly so widely applicable as energy-efficient buildings, can all make a positive social and environmental contribution locally. Although solar ponds collect large quantities of salt, they are only likely to be used in areas where salt (or salty water) is already abundant, and are therefore unlikely to contribute appreciably to worsening salina-tion of agricultural land. Solar thermal electric power systems necessarily involve strong beam radiation, which can be a hazard for the eyes of people and birds, but this is easily accommodated within normal safety standards.

Availability and costs

2.60 Encouraging co-operatives between foresters would increase their influence in the energy sector and spread the capital costs and risks between a number of stakeholders. Energy generators are likely to support such moves dealing with a single co-operative rather than a number of individual farmers or foresters reduces administration costs. We recommend that the government investigates the possibility of extending the grants for establishing producer groups to farmers and foresters who wish to use their woodlands or other arisings (hedgings for example), as a source of fuel but do not wish to plant energy crops.

Availability Of Biomass Resources

In the United States, it is estimated that agriculture accounts directly and indirectly for about 20 of the gross national product (GNP) by contributing 750 billion to the economy through the production of foods and fiber, the manufacture of farm equipment, the transportation of agricultural products, etc. It is also interesting that while agricultural products contribute to the U.S. economy with 40 billion of exports, with each 1 billion of export creating 31,600 jobs (1982 figures), foreign oil imports drain the economy and make up 23 of the U.S. trade deficit (U.S. Department of Commerce, 1987 estimate). Biobased materials products are nonfood, nonfeed agricultural products used in a variety of commercial and industrial applications, thereby harnessing the energy of the sun to provide raw materials. Biobased products include fuels, energy, chemicals, construction materials, lubricants, oils, automotive supplies, and a host of other products. The U.S. government has set the goal of...

Methodology Of Lifecycle Assessment

The starting point of each LCA is to define the goal and scope of the analysis. This includes a decision about the functional unit to which the analysis should refer, the definition of the product system and system boundaries, as well as a choice of allocation procedures, types of impact categories to be studied, and the methodology of impact assessment. The functional unit can either be a certain service or a product, with the latter being the choice of the studies reviewed in this chapter (e.g., 1 kg of polylactic acid PLA , 1 m3 of loose-fill packaging material, or 1 Ha of agricultural land required for the production of biomass). Critical issues for a comparative environmental analysis of biobased versus fossil-based products are typically (a) the cultivation of biomass in agriculture and forestry (intensive vs. extensive practices), (b) the choice of the conventional product serving as a reference, and (c) the waste-

Environmental implications

Agricultural land is divided into classifications by the physical limitations of the land for agricultural use, the determining factors being climate, site and soil and how these affect the versatility of the land and the reliability of crop yields1. England and Wales have five classifications (or grades) and grade 3 is divided into subgroups a and b2, the Scottish executive uses seven grades of land classification with up to three sub-categories in each3, The first five follow roughly the descriptions and proportions set out below for England and Wales4. Grade 1 - excellent quality agricultural land 3 of agricultural land Grade 2 - very good quality agricultural land 16 of agricultural land Grade 3 - good to moderate quality land 55 of agricultural land Grade 4 - poor quality agricultural land 16 of agricultural land Grade 5 - very poor quality land 10 of agricultural land 1 Defra (2003). Agricultural Land Classification. Protecting'the best andmost versatile agricultural land' 2...

Raising Choice Awareness

In his thesis Alternatives, Nature and Farming, Christensen (1998) discusses the human relationship with nature and the perception of alternatives in agriculture. Christensen engages in the discussion of what is a real alternative. For example, is organic farming a real alternative to conventional agriculture The environmental and nature protection problems of our time require innovative thinking with regard to our perception of nature as well as our agricultural practice. According to Christensen, it is not solely a matter of getting new ideas. Such alternative visions have to be combined with levelheaded and complex analyses. The key issue is to raise the question of how to inspire to a fruitful change in such a way that alternatives are not isolated or end up being another part of the existing systems. Christensen relates to the term radical change, which corresponds well to the concept of radical technological change as used when formulating the two theses of the Choice Awareness...

Dealers Of Cooking Oil Making Biodiesel Machine Mail

Luck had once taken us to a traditional farm in picturesque southern Germany where we had seen vehicles fueled by vegetable oil. While studying organic agriculture and living on this farm, we noticed that the farmers were continuously hauling tanks full of yellow liquid. The farmers told us, This is fuel from the canola plants which grow on our farm and on Jorg's farm up the road. We put it in the diesels and they smell good. To our amazement, the farmers poured the yellow liquid

Fuel production from biomass generation of liquid biofuels

A number of concerns with regard to the environmental impacts of the ethanol fermentation energy conversion chain must be considered. First of all, the biomass being used may have direct uses as food, or may be grown in competition with production of food. The reason is, of course, that the easiest ethanol fermentation is obtained by starting with a raw material with as high a content of elementary sugar as possible, that is, starting with sugarcane or cereal grain. Since sugarcane is likely to occupy prime agricultural land, and cereal production must increase with increasing world population, neither of these biomass resources should be used as fermentation inputs. However, residues from cereal production and from necessary sugar production (present sugar consumption is in many regions of the world to high from a health and nutrition point of view) could be used for ethanol fermentation, together with urban refuse, extra crops on otherwise committed land, perhaps aquatic crops and...

Solar materials from agricultural monocultures to polycultures

Problem, in that vast harvests are needed to obtain commercially viable quantities. For this reason, solar resources can and should not be cultivated for one specialized purpose alone. The case for organic farming practices improves once the opportunities for and economic advantages of comprehensive multipurpose applications for plant resources and residues are recognized, as depicted in Figure 7.3. Whereas the process of transforming fossil raw materials into chemical products produces toxic waste, the use of solar raw materials opens up the possibility of turning waste disposal costs into additional profit centres. All plant residues not required for the production of a particular product can always be fermented to produce biogas. Productivity considerations alone would lead a chemical

New York

Earth Day Festival and Energy Fair will be held April 22-23, 1995 at the Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York Featuring alternative transportation, workshops on solar architecture, solar electric systems, energy efficient and environmentally conscious building, batteries, rail transit, sustainable agriculture, natural gardening and landscaping, vendors of RE products, and government agency energy programs and grants For more information on exhibiting, attending or participating, contact CEI, 50 Main Street West, Rochester, NY 14614-1218, 716-2622870, Fax 716-262-4156, EMail, ctrenvinfo

Waste water

The water can also be sprayed as liquid fertilizer onto agricultural land. This procedure is recommended when communal sewage treatment plants are too far away to consider building a connecting pipeline. But it must be remembered that, waste water may not be sprayed onto agricultural land when the soil is frozen, which means during the winter period of at least 3 months. This is to protect the rivers from receiving excessive amounts of plant nutrients.

Food versus fuel

Production of liquid biofuels has been based historically on biomass from grain, sugar and oil crops, all of which are essential food crops, generally grown on the best agricultural land available. Despite crop production surpluses in the USA and Europe, the increasing worldwide demand for food indicates that these crops will not be diverted significantly from food to energy. Therefore, biofuel production as a major contribution to world energy supplies requires other feedstock and land than for food and other strategies. For instance, there is a need for cheaper, more energy-efficient processes for producing ethanol from widely available lignocellulosic materials, e.g. corn-stalks, straw and wood, especially sawdust and other woody residues, rather than from food-related crops.

Crop driers

Grains and many other agricultural products have to be dried before being stored. Otherwise, insects and fungi, which thrive in moist conditions, render them unusable. Examples include wheat, rice, coffee, copra (coconut flesh), certain fruits and, indeed, timber. We shall consider grain drying, but the other cases are similar. All forms of crop drying involve transfer of water from the crop to the surrounding air, so we must first determine how much water the air can accept as water vapour.

Pellet Raw Materials

Another option is to use other raw materials. Agricultural products and residues such as straw, hay, miscanthus or other energy crops -forming so-called 'agri-pellets' - have been at the centre of attention of the pellet community in past years. Unfortunately, all of these products are harder to burn cleanly than wood. Therefore, due to existing emissions legislation, significant product development is required before mass use of agri-pellets will be possible.


Aug. 10, '02, RE for Your Home, at solar powered home in N. VT. Tour working PV system theory, design, setup off-grid system, some wind & hydro.US 50. Reservations. Contact Flack Family Farm, 2063 Duffy Hill Rd., Enosburg Falls, VT 05450 sarahflackfarm


Another possibility, especially for groups of small farms, is the integration of agricultural crop, farm animal, and fuel production into one system. For example, farmers in an appropriate region of the U.S. Midwest might grow corn as feedstock for conversion in a cooperative fuel ethanol plant. The equivalent of this is already done on a large scale in the U.S. Corn Belt, except most of the conversion plants are non-coop, commercial plants. A further variation is the return of the residual distillers' dry grains by the cooperative to the farmers for use as animal feed. The resulting animal manures are converted to medium-energy fuel gas in farm-scale anaerobic digestion units. The fuel gas is used on-site to generate heat, steam, and power, and the residual ungasified solids, which are high in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus, are recycled to the fields as fertilizer to grow more corn. The salable products are ethanol and co-products from the cooperative conversion plants and farm...

New Mexico

June 10-17, '01 Build Here Now 2001, A Natural Building & Permaculture Convergence, Taos County, NM. Passive solar, natural building, permaculture, appropriate technology, PV systems, community building, chicken tractors, & more. By The Last Straw Journal, Lama Foundation, & Permaculture Institute. 495. Lama Foundation, PO Box 240, San Cristobal, NM 87564 505-586-1269 Fax 505-586-1964 resistrar


June 19-25, '02 Permaculture Teacher Training Course, Bonny Doon, near Santa Cruz. Prerequisite A Permaculture Design Course Certificate develop teaching skills, discuss strategies & techniques. US 305. Contact Rain, TT, 316 Main St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060 831-457-9469 raincascadia

National Us

Oct. 14, '01 Elfin Permaculture's Permaculture Design Course Online. Runs about six months includes reading, e-mail lectures, e-mail discussion, and student reports. By Dan and Cynthia Hemenway of U.S., Willem Smuts of S. America, and Tim Packer of New Zealand. Info BarkingFrogsPC EPTA Hemenway.htm

New Zealand

Jan. 31-Feb. 1, '04 Sustainability Expo 2004 Christchurch, NZ. Energy efficient building design PV, SDHW, & wind systems composting toilets, waste water systems, & grey water efficient insulation, glazing & appliances alternative transportation permaculture speakers demonstrations & working displays. Info John Veix, PO Box 6302, Christchurch, New Zealand 64 274 576 527 john Sust_Cante.htm


Sky View Farm, a solar and wind powered homestead, is offering six half-day workshops this summer (June 15 & 29, July 13 & 27, August 10 & 24). Each workshop will include an introduction to passive solar housing, solar and wind energy systems, domestic water heating and pumping, Permaculture, and rain water catchment. Participants will receive take home literature and sample system schematics. For more information contact David VanDyke, 314 West Valley Road, Maple City, MI 49664. Phone (616) 228-6433.

North Carolina

Solar Energy Society's free seminars. April 9 PV April 16 EVs April 23 Solar Cookers April 30 Permaculture May 7 NC Tax Credits. Free workshops each Tuesday night 8 20 pm during the spring & fall semesters, in the auditorium of the Kerr-Scott building, room 17.


The Institute for Bioregional Studies was founded to demonstrate recent ecologically-oriented, scientific, social and technological achievements that move us toward ecological, healthy, interdependent and self-reliant communities. Among 1995 Summer Programs are July 2-16, Permaculture Design-self-reliance, growing food and building creative, beautiful energy-efficient structures from local materials and July 31 - August 3, Hands-on, Homemade Power and Energy Conservation-solar home design, straw-bale building construction, composting toilets, composting, energy conservation, greywater treatment and appropriate technologies. For more info IBS, 449 University Av, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island C1A8K3, Canada 902-892-9578.


The appropriate technology course is divided into three parts solar designing, bio-mass conversion and conducting research in these areas. Progressive reforestation techniques are studied and practiced, as well as the sustainable harvesting of forest products such as mushrooms, vine-maple for fencing and basketry, and herbs for medicinal and aesthetic purposes. More productive and integrative methods of farming, including permaculture, are also studied while working in our beautiful organic garden.

About our Authors

Alves graduated in Agronomy from UFRRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro) in 1987. He concluded the Master's Degree (1992) and PhD (1996) in Agronomy at the same University, specializing in techniques for the study of the dynamics of N in the soil and for the quantification of biological N2 fixation in legume and non-legume species. He is a researcher at the Brazilian Corporation of Agricultural Research (Embrapa) and a teacher-advisor in the post-graduation program in Agronomy at UFRRJ. His research covers the quantification of soil C sequestration, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy balance for biomass production. Robert Boddey graduated in 1975 from Leeds University, UK, with a BSc in Agricultural Chemistry. He earned a PhD at the University of the West Indies (Trinidad) in 1980, with a thesis on biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) associated with wetland rice. He then moved to the Soil Microbiology Centre of the Brazilian Corporation for Agricultural Research...

Construction Blades

Vawt Composite Blade Manufacturing

One of the main concerns is the procedure and mechanism for the shutdown for overspeed. If there is a lost of load, for example, the utility transmission line goes down due to an ice storm, during high winds with the wind turbine operating at rated power, then the power of the rotor has to be controlled with 5-10 s. If the condition results in so much power that it can not be controlled, even with the application of a mechanical brake, then the unit will self-destruct or a few high wind speed shutdowns will place so much stress on the drive train that it has to be replaced. For light-weight blades on wind turbines operating at constant rpm the time period is 4-5 s. The Alternative Energy Institute and USDA, Agricultural Research Service, have installed and tested over sixty prototype and first-production wind turbines, from 50 W to 500 kW. Almost all the units had some kind of failure within 1 year, and some of the failures resulted in loss of the rotor or even the destruction of the...


On October 2-4 1992, The Farm School in Summertown, Tennessee is hosting The Alternatives Fair energy conservation and economic conversion for the 90's. Educational presentations, product demonstrations, and experts from across the Southeast. Issues covered include sustainable energy practices, least toxic pest management, biodiversity, passive solar design, midwifery, vegetarian nutrition, permaculture, group economics, the impact of chip mills, water testing, and solar electric vehicles. Sponsored by Global Village Institute, Tennessee Solar Assoc., and The Farm School. For registration, camping information, and travel directions, send SASE to Mary Ellen Bowen, 51 The Farm, Summertown, TN 38483. For exhibitor information call 615-385-2123 or 615-964-2637


We expect our readers to have a basic understanding of science and technology, especially of physical science and mathematics. It is not necessary to read or refer to chapters consecutively, as each aspect of the subject is treated, in the main, as independent of the other aspects. However, some common elements, especially heat transfer, will have to be studied seriously if the reader is to progress to any depth of understanding in solar energy. The disciplines behind a proper understanding and application of renewable energy also include environmental science, chemistry and engineering, with social science vital for dissemination. We are aware that readers with a physical science background will usually be unfamiliar with life science and agricultural science, but we stress the importance of these subjects with obvious application for biofuels and for developments akin to photosynthesis. We ourselves see renewable energy as within human-inclusive ecology, both now and for a...

Technical Status

Recent research efforts have demonstrated the ability to increase significantly the yield from intensive biomass culture operations, based on species such as fast-growing willow hybrids. These developments could reduce the cost of biomass production, improve the quality of biomass material, and reduce or eliminate the site specific nature of biomass use. I hese advances suggest the future possibility of reliance on competltively-prlced Plomass from plantations, rather than waste wood and agricultural products, as a feedstock for biomass conversion processes. Biomass combustion systems are commercially available in all IEA member countries for a wide range of applications. All other biomass conversion systems are in limited commercial use or are at less advanced stages of development. For example, ethanol is produced commercially from grain and other agricultural products in significant quantities in Brazil and the I Inited States, with government subsidies. Acid hydrolysis of wood to...

Energy Resource

Biomass is all matter derived directly or indirectly from plant photosynthesis. The production of biomass is one nf the nati iral ways in which solar energy is stored, in the form of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The resource base is comprised of terrestrial and aquatic plant matter and can be obtained through primary production or indirectly through the recovery of wood harvesting, processing, other manufacturing, agricultural and human waste streams. While agricultural resources present opportunities for bioenergy, the biomass resource with the largest near-term energy potential is wood.

Part I

Annually renewable resources should be used for the production of materials products, especially plastics and chemicals, because of the abundant availability of biomass and agricultural feedstocks, their role in managing our carbon emissions in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner, their potential to create a positive environmental footprint, and the value they add to agriculture. The use of renewable resources would contribute to a country's economic growth, especially in developing countries, many of which have abundant biomass and agricultural resources that provide the potential for achieving self-sufficiency in materials. Furthermore, new environmental regulations, societal concerns, and a growing environmental awareness throughout the world are triggering a paradigm shift toward producing plastics and other materials from inherently biodegradable and annually renewable biomass agricultural feedstocks. This chapter reviews these drivers and the rationale for...


In Fig. 1.17, a sketch of the distribution of the energy consumption on different sources of energy is attempted. Again, only for the past century or two have actual data been used. The shape of the curve describing the diminishing share of food energy starting about 105 years ago is again dependent on the picture of emerging cultures and geographical distribution of the population, outlined above. It is clear, however, that the energy basis for human societies has been renewable energy sources until quite recently. Whether all the wood usage should be counted as renewable is debatable. Early agricultural practice (e.g. in northern Europe) involved burning forest areas for farming purposes and repeating the process in a new area after a few years, as the crop yield diminished owing to nutrient deficiency of the soil. Most forests not being converted into permanent agricultural land survived this exploitation, owing to the low population density and the stability of the soils...

Important Questions

In 2007, the European Commission evaluated the effects of its mandate to obtain 10 percent of the EU's fuel from biofuels by 2020, and found that it would require 15 percent of the agricultural land already in use to meet the goal, assuming that 20 percent of the biofuel need would be met by imports. The Commission predicted price increases for oilseed and cereal crops as a consequence.43 Another commercial plant that will make the fuel from woodchips and other nonfood agricultural products is planned for Michigan, to be built by the Mascoma Corporation.67 The company also hopes to build the nation's first facility to produce cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass, in partnership with the University of Tennessee, which should produce 5 mgy starting in 2009.68

Potential production

2.39 England has about 2.5 million hectares (Mha) of grades 1 and 2 agricultural land, 6 Mha of grade 3 land and 3 Mha of grades 4 and 5 land. Food production is likely to continue on the best grade 1, 2 and 3 land but a significant amount of land in grades 3, 4, and 5 will be available and suitable for energy crops. Environmental impact assessments may rule out some areas of set-aside and grade 5 land for energy crop production on environmental grounds, or it may just be unsuitable (steep slopes or very poor quality soil for example). Therefore it is more likely that grades 3 and 4 land will be used for willow production. Energy crop production could be started as a use for set-aside land but it is likely that eventually other arable land would need to be switched to energy crop production. 2.44 As a viable fraction of set-aside is used for energy crops, growth in energy crops will move onto other grades of land. The issues then become effective agricultural and forestry policy and...


Land Parabolic trough plants require a significant amount of land that typically cannot be used concurrently for other uses. Parabolic troughs require the land to be graded level. One opportunity to minimize the development o f undisturbed lands is to use parcels of marginal and fallow agricultural land instead. A study sponsored by th e California Energy Commission determined that 27,000 MWe of STE plants could be built on marginal and fallo w agricultural land in Southern California 12 . A study for the state of Texas showed that land use requirements fo r parabolic trough plants are less that those of most other renewable technologies (wind, biomass, hydro) and also les s than those of fossil when mining and drilling requirements are included 13 . Current trough technology produce s about 100 kWh yr m2 of land.

Marine Biomass

Growing biomass crops for energy production on land could use valuable agricultural land. Oceans offer potential areas to grow biomass for fuel production. The oceans are uncultivated and underutilized for plant growth. Cultivation of seaweeds for energy would not compete for production of food or fiber crops in terms of space, effort, or economics.

A staged approach

1.20 A successful biomass energy strategy requires that by 2050 much of the fuel needed will be grown as energy crops, and this means that potentially significant amounts of agricultural land will need to be diverted to this use. However, in the shorter term there are existing sources of biomass to fuel the development of the sector. We have identified four stages in this process Long-term - area of land increases to be a significant proportion of total available agricultural land.


HBCU Program at Tennessee Sate University discusses research in alternative refrigerants. Limited quantities of these bulletins are available by contacting NRELs Document Distribution Service at 303-275-4363, fax 303-275-4053 or evanss (e-mail) Sun Day, April 21, 1996, is an ongoing nationwide, grassroots, organizing and educational campaign to promote improved energy efficiency, renewable energy (solar, wind, biomass, solar hydrogen, geothermal and hydroelectric) technologies, electric vehicles, and sustainable agriculture as solutions to global climate change, energy imports, acid rain, radioactive waste, and other energy-related environmental problems. The campaign was formally launched on Earth Day 1992, with activities sponsored throughout the United States. Once again, many participating organizations will be sponsoring fairs, conferences, educational programs, political actions, and other events. If you are interested in participating contact Ken Bossong, Sun...


Larry and Twila Dove didn't set out to be an example for others. It just happened. Last year, the husband-and-wife team installed a grid-tied 7.2 KW solar-electric system at their organic farm just south of Atlanta. They didn't do it for the rebates, because the state of Georgia does not offer any. And they didn't do it for the payback, because it could take decades at current electricity rates. They did it because, as they say, It was, and is, the right thing to do.

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