The availability of land for perennial energy crops in Great Britain

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This paper defines the potentially available land for perennial energy crops across Great Britain as the first component of a broader appraisal undertaken by the ‘Spatial Modelling of Bioenergy in Great Britain to 2050’ project. Combining data on seven primary constraints in a GIS reduced the available area to just over 9 M ha (40% of GB). Adding other restrictions based on land cover naturalness scores to represent landscape considerations resulted in a final area of 8.5 M ha (37% of GB). This distribution was compared with the locations of Miscanthus and SRC willow established under the English Energy Crop Scheme during 2001–2011 and it was found that 83% of the planting fell within the defined available land. Such a correspondence provides confidence that the factors considered in the analysis were broadly consistent with previous planting decisions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-107
Number of pages9
JournalGCB Bioenergy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


  • geographical information systems
  • land availability
  • land use
  • landscape sensitivity
  • perennial energy crops
  • planting constraints

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