Advertisement

BioEnergy Research

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 165–179 | Cite as

Potential Suitability and Viability of Selected Biodiesel Crops in Australian Marginal Agricultural Lands Under Current and Future Climates

  • Inakwu O. A. Odeh
  • Daniel K. Y. Tan
  • Tihomir Ancev
Article

Abstract

The potential environmental suitability and economic viability of growing two biodiesel crops in marginal regions of Australia were explored. Firstly, we used spatial analysis techniques to identify marginal agricultural regions suitable for growing pongam (Pongamia pinnata) and Indian mustard (Brassica juncea), and determined the base socioeconomic viability of investments for the production of biodiesel in the identified areas. Secondly, we used climate change projections (target years 2020 to 2070) from the Commonwealth Scientific, Industrial and Research Organization Mk3.0 global circulation model generated for two emission scenarios (A1B and A1FI) to determine the shift in potential areas for these crops. Under the climate change scenarios tested, the total area suitable for growing pongam between 2040 and 2070 is substantially different from the suitable area under current climate, indicating that long-term investments in this perennial tree crop may not be viable in all regions, especially in southern Australia. There is a greater variation in suitability projections for Indian mustard, although there is more flexibility for cropping options given that it is an annual crop. However, future economic viability is likely to depend on the ability to receive renewable energy certificates for both crops and, in the case of pongam, the certified emission reductions. Opportunities exist for sustainable pongam agroforestry to supply biodiesel to regional towns, cattle stations and mines in northern Australia.

Keywords

Suitability Biodiesel Bioenergy Pongamia pinnata Brassica juncea Climate change Economics Adaptation 

Abbreviations

IPCC

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

REC

Renewable energy certificates

CER

Certified emission reduction

A1B

Future climate scenario based on the A1 storyline and scenario family (which describes a future world of very rapid economic growth, global population that peaks in mid-century and declines thereafter) but describes a balance across all energy sources

A1FI

Future climate scenario based on the A1 but describes an alternative direction of technological change in the energy system by emphasizing fossil fuel intensity

A1T

Future climate scenario, also based on A1 but emphasizes predominately non-fossil energy resources

A2

Scenario family that describes a very heterogeneous world

B1

Scenario family that describes a convergent world with rapid change in economic structures ‘dematerialization’ and introduction of clean technologies

B2

Scenario family which describes a world in which the emphasis is on local solutions to economic, social and environmental sustainability

GCM

Global circulation model

CSIRO

Commonwealth Scientific, Industrial and Research Organization

NPV

Net present value

GHG

Greenhouse gas

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank Ian Smith and Leanne Webb of CSIRO for advice on OzClim and Daryl Young and Sue Bestow of Australian Agricultural Crop Technologies Pty Ltd for providing the Indian mustard gross margins.

References

  1. 1.
    Commonwealth of Australia (2003) Appropriateness of a 350 million litre biofuels target. Report to the Australian Government Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources http://www.bitre.gov.au/info.aspx?NodeId=16&ResourceId=133. Cited 30 September 2010
  2. 2.
    Australian Government Biofuels Taskforce (2005) Report of the Biofuels Taskforce to the Prime Minister, Canberra. Australian Government Biofuels Taskforce, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    ABARE (2007) Australian agriculture—key issues for the future. Aust Commodit 14:22–45Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Odeh IOA, Tan DKY (2007) Expanding biofuel production in Australia: opportunities beyond the horizon. Farm Policy Journal 4:29–39Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    CSIRO (2007) Climate change in Australia—technical report 148. CSIRO, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Australian Government (2010) Australia’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry at a glance 2010. Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    CMAR (2007) Ozclim—climate change scenarios for Australia. http://www.csiro.au/ozclim/advanced.do. Cited 30 September 2010
  8. 8.
    Cline WR (2007) Global warming and agriculture—impact estimates by country. Center for Global Development, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Martin P (1993) Vegetation responses and feedbacks to climate: a review of models and processes. Climate Dyn 8:201–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kerns BK (2010) Vegetation response to climate change: usable results from SDMs and DGVMs. 95th ESA annual meeting, August 1–6, 2010. The David L. Lawrence Convention Centre, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. http://eco.confex.com/eco/2010/techprogram/index.htm Cited on 6 October 6 2010
  11. 11.
    Kesteven J, Landsberg J (2004) Developing a national forest productivity model. National Carbon Accounting System technical report no. 23. Australian Greenhouse Office, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    FAO (2007) Pongamia pinnata. http://ecoport.org/ep?Plant=1781&entityType=PL****&entityDisplayCategory=full. Cited 30 September 2010
  13. 13.
    Sah AK, Bhandari AS, Chaubey OP, Jamaluddin (1988) Frost tolerance of tree species used in wastelands afforestation in MP. J Trop For 4:188–190Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ram P, Pandey RK (1987) Vegetation damage by frost in natural forests of Madhya Pradesh. J Trop For 3:273–278Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Daniel JN (1997) Pongamia pinnata—a nitrogen fixing tree for oilseed. Available from: http://www.winrock.org/fnrm/factnet/factpub/FACTSH/P_pinnata.html. Cited 30 September 2010
  16. 16.
    Singh K, Yadav JSP (1999) Effect of soil salinity and sodicity on seedling growth and mineral composition of Pongamia pinnata. Indian For 125:618–622Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Chaudhry MR, Muhammad I, Subhani KM (2002) Economic use of degraded land and brackish water by growing salt tolerant trees. In: Ahmad R, Malik KA (eds) Prospects for saline agriculture. Kluwer Academic, Dordrecht, pp 287–295Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Pratiksha C, Jamaluddin (2005) Distribution of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in nursery and plantation. In: Rai MK, Deshmukh SK (eds) Fungi: diversity and biotechnology. New Delhi, Vadams BooksGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Chaukiyal SP, Sheel SK, Pokhriyal TC (2000) Effects of seasonal variation and nitrogen treatments on nodulation and nitrogen fixation behaviour in Pongamia pinnata. J Trop For Sci 12:357–368Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Oram RW, Kirk JTO, Veness PE, Hurlstone CJ, Edlington JP, Halsall DM (2005) Breeding Indian mustard [Brassica juncea (L.) Czern.] for cold-pressed, edible oil production—a review. Aust J Agric Res 56:581–596CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Gunasekera CP, Martin LD, Siddique KHM, Walton GH (2006) Genotype by environment interactions of Indian mustard (Brassica juncea L.) and canola (B. napus L.) in Mediterranean-type environments: 1. Crop growth and seed yield. Eur J Agron 25:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Dhawan AK, Chhabra ML, Yadava TP (1983) Freezing injury in oilseed Brassica species. Ann Bot 51:673–677Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Rao GU, Jain A, Shivanna KR (1992) Effects of high temperature stress on Brassica pollen: viability, germination and ability to set fruits and seeds. Ann Bot 69:193–198Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Niknam SR, Ma Q, Turner DW (2003) Osmotic adjustment and seed yield of Brassica napus and B. juncea genotypes in a water-limited environment in southwestern Australia. Aust J Exp Agric 43:1127–1135CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Holland JF, Robertson MJ, Wratten N, Bambach R, Cocks B (2003) Canola and mustard in the northern region: an update on research progress. Proceedings of conference: Thirteen Biennial Australian Research Assembly on Brassicas, pp 55–70Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Robertson MJ, Holland JF, Bambach R (2004) Response of canola and Indian mustard to sowing date in the grain-belt of northeastern Australia. Aust J Exp Agric 44:43–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Knowles PF, Kearney TE, Cohen DB (1981) Species of rapeseed and mustard as oil crops in California. In: Pryde EH, Princen LH, Mukherjee KD (eds) New sources of fats and oils. AOCS monograph 9. American Oil Chemists’ Society, Champaign, pp 255–268Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Nair AG (2005) Estimation of carbon sequestered in Pongamia pinnata and Eucalyptus spp. MSc thesis. Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, India, p 47Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Wani SP, Osman M, D’Silva E, Sreedevi TK (2006) Improved livelihoods and environmental protection through biodiesel plantations in Asia. Asian Biotechnology and Development Review 8:11–29Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    RIRDC (2007) Biodiesel production for rural Australia, RIRDC publication number 07/140. RIRDC, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Förster M, Helms Y, Herberg A, Koppen A, Kunzmann K, Radtke D et al (2008) A site-related suitability analysis for the production of biomass as a contribution to sustainable regional land-use. Environ Manage 41:584–598PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    McKenzie NJ, Jacquier DW, Ashton LJ, Cresswell HP (2000) Estimation of soil properties using the Atlas of Australian soils. Technical report 11/00. CSIRO Land and Water, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Cacho O (2008) Carbon markets, transaction costs and bioenergy. Contributed paper, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, 52nd annual conference, 5–8 February, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Smith BJ, Kirkegaard JA, Howe GN (2004) Impacts of Brassica break-crops on soil biology and yield following wheat crops. Aust J Agric Res 55:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Woods J, Bauen A (2003) Technology status review and carbon abatement potential of renewable transport fuels (RTF) in the UK. DTI; AEAT. B/U2/00785/REP URN 03/982, 1–150. http://www.silvaeculture.co.uk/pdfs/IC_RTF/Renewable_Transport_Fuels_UK_main_rpt.pdf. Cited 30 September 2010
  36. 36.
    Koh LP, Ghazoul J (2008) Biofuels, biodiversity and people: understanding the conflicts and finding opportunities. Biol Conserv 141:2458–2460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    De Winne TL (2008) Green fuel challenge. Available online at http://www.biofuels.fsnet.co.uk/challenge.htm. Cited 30 September 2010
  38. 38.
    Powlson DS, Riche AB, Shield I (2001) Biofuels and other approaches for decreasing fossil fuel emissions from agriculture. Ann Appl Biol 146:193–201CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Van der Velde M, Bouraoui F, Aloe A (2009) Pan-European regional-scale modelling of water and N efficiencies of rapeseed cultivation for biodiesel production. Glob Chang Biol 15:24–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Campbell JE, Lobell DB, Genova RC, Field CB (2008) The global potential of bioenergy on abandoned agriculture lands. Environ Sci Technol 42:5791–5794PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Wiegmann K, Hennenberg KJ, Fritsche UR (2008) Degraded land and sustainable bioenergy feedstock production. Joint international workshop on high nature value criteria and potential for sustainable use of degraded lands, Paris, June 30–July 1, 2008, Darmstadt, pp 1–12Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Larson GA, Roloff G, Larson WE (1988) A new approach to marginal agricultural land classification. Conservation 43:103–106Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Field CB, Campbell JE, Lobell DB (2008) Biomass energy: the scale of the potential resource. Trends Ecol Evol 23:65–72PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Anon (2008) Savannah Explorer. Available online at http://www.savanna.org.au/mg/. Cited 30 September 2010
  45. 45.
    Australian Government (2008) Australian atlas of mineral resources, mines and processing centres. http://www.australianminesatlas.gov.au/. Cited 30 September 2010
  46. 46.
    Scott PT, Pregelj L, Chen N, Hadler JS, Djordjevic MA, Gresshoff PM (2008) Pongamia pinnata: an untapped resource for the biofuel industry of the future. Bioenergy Research 1:2–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inakwu O. A. Odeh
    • 1
  • Daniel K. Y. Tan
    • 1
  • Tihomir Ancev
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Natural ResourcesThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations