This study aims to estimate the potential for sustainable bioenergy production in Africa through such systems, based on the evaluation of yields for 15 short-rotation woody crops.
While location-specific information on those crops is largely unavailable in agricultural databases, yields can be estimated from soil and climate data.
- First, the constraint-free potential for biomass production for a given region, country or area is calculated by analysing biophysical processes such as photosynthesis and respiration, taking account of temperature, precipitation and solar irradiation data.
- The resulting biomass yield is then reduced to reflect climate and soil constraints to arrive at the net theoretical yield potential.
- Finally, the technical yield potential is calculated by excluding unsuitable land areas, such as cities, roads, industrial infrastructure, as well as undisturbed forest and environmentally protected areas.