Land cover changes with the development of anaerobic digestion for biogas production in France - INRAE - Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement Access content directly
Journal Articles Global Change Biology - Bioenergy Year : 2023

Land cover changes with the development of anaerobic digestion for biogas production in France

Abstract

Anaerobic digestion is developing in various countries worldwide to produce renewable energy. In addition, the resulting digestates provide readily available nutrients when applied to cropping systems as fertilizers. The introduction of a biogas plant on a farm can induce land cover changes, in relation to the production of feedstock for the biogas plant and/or to the modification of the farming system. The aim of this study was therefore to characterize and quantify the land cover changes in farms associated with biogas plants in France. We combined two national spatialized databases: the Land Parcel Identification System (yearly French land cover at the parcel scale with farm identifier per parcel) and the SINOE database (biogas plant location and year of start-up). We showed that, on average, the changes were limited, with an increase in maize areas (+3.4% of the total farm areas) compensated by a decrease in wheat and rapeseed areas (−1.8% and −1.9%, respectively), but with a certain variability. The French regulation and market limiting the use of dedicated energy crops seems to have limited land cover changes in France compared to other countries. However, we elaborated a typology of land cover changes and characterized five clusters of farms across the country. The main one (67% of the farms) corresponded to unchanged land cover after the introduction of a biogas plant. The four other clusters showed contrasting changes, for example, an increase or a decrease in grassland areas, a strong increase in maize areas, or a replacement of winter wheat by winter barley. The diversity and the driving factors behind these changes deserve to be better studied and understood through further farmer surveys.

Dates and versions

hal-03996734 , version 1 (20-02-2023)

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Cite

Florent Levavasseur, Lucie Martin, Léa Boros, Jeanne Cadiou, Marco Carozzi, et al.. Land cover changes with the development of anaerobic digestion for biogas production in France. Global Change Biology - Bioenergy, 2023, 15 (5), pp.630-641. ⟨10.1111/gcbb.13042⟩. ⟨hal-03996734⟩
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