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A novel energy systems model to explore the role of land use and reforestation in achieving carbon mitigation targets: A Brazil case study

A novel energy systems model to explore the role of land use and reforestation in achieving carbon mitigation targets: A Brazil case study

García Kerdan, Iván ORCID: 0000-0002-0566-555X, Giarola, Sara and Hawkes, Adam (2019) A novel energy systems model to explore the role of land use and reforestation in achieving carbon mitigation targets: A Brazil case study. Journal of Cleaner Production, 232. pp. 796-821. ISSN 0959-6526 (doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.05.345)

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Abstract

Due to its low global share of direct energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions (1–2%), the implications of technological transitions in the agricultural and forestry sector on the energy system have been overlooked. This paper introduces the Agriculture and Land Use Sector module part of the ModUlar energy System Environment (MUSE), a novel energy system simulation model. The study presents a generalisable method that enables energy modellers to characterise agricultural technologies within an energy system modelling framework. Different mechanisation processes were characterised to simulate intensification/extensification transitions in the sector and its wider implications in the energy and land use system aiming at providing reliable non-energy outputs similarly to those found in dedicated land use models. Additionally, a forest growth model has been integrated to explore the role of reforestation alongside decarbonisation measures in the energy system in achieving carbon mitigation pathways. To illustrate the model's capabilities, Brazil is used as case study. Outputs suggest that by 2030 under a 2 °C mitigation scenario, most of Brazil agricultural production would move from ‘transitional’ to ‘modern’ practices, improving productivity and reducing deforestation rates, at the expense of higher energy and fertiliser demand. By mid-century Brazil has the potential to liberate around 24.4 Mha of agricultural land, where large-scale reforestation could have the capacity to sequester around 5.6 GtCO2, alleviating mitigation efforts in the energy system, especially reducing carbon capture and storage technology investments in the industry and power sector.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Energy systems model; Reforestation; Agriculture; Land-use; Mechanisation; Brazil
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > Department of Built Environment
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2019 14:54
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/25813

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