Planning land use for biogas energy crop production: The potential of cutaway peat production lands

Kari Laasasenaho, Anssi Lensu, Jukka Rintala

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Each year, thousands of hectares of peatland that had been harvested are being released in Finland, which can offer an opportunity to increase energy crops and attain the bioenergy targets for non-agriculture lands. In this study, the Geographic Information System (GIS) method was used to improve the assessment of decentralized renewable energy resources. The amount of peat production lands and future cutaway areas for energy crop production was calculated as a case study by using ArcGIS and the Finnish Topographic database. There are almost 1000 km2 of peat production lands in Finland, and theoretically, approximately 300 km2 of cutaway peatlands could be used for energy crops after 30 years. The dry biomass yield of reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) or timothy-fescue grass (mix of Phleum pratense and Festuca pratensis) could be higher than 100 Gg a-1 in these lands indicating methane potential of approximately 300 GWh. The exhausted peat production areas in the western region of Finland have significant potential for use for energy crops; North and South Ostrobothnia account for almost 45% of the total peat production land. A future goal could be to use the cutaway peat production lands more efficiently for bioenergy to mitigate climate change. Since the use of wastelands (including peatlands) are being considered in Europe as a way to avoid competition with food production, the GIS method used in the study to identify suitable peat lands could be applicable to biomass resource studies being conducted in many countries.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)355-362
    Number of pages8
    JournalBiomass & Bioenergy
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016
    Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Bioenergy
    • Festuca pratensis
    • GIS
    • Phalaris arundinacea
    • Phleum pratense
    • Wasteland

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 2

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Agronomy and Crop Science
    • Forestry
    • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
    • Waste Management and Disposal


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