Farm Systems Assessment of Bioenergy

Farm Systems Assessment of Bioenergy

Bioenergy research draws upon bio-economic modelling approaches to analyse the trade-offs between farm-level finances, net energy and greenhouse gas emisssions as a central theme of the BBSRC Sustainable Bioenergy Centre (BSBEC). Farm and farmer constraints and opportunities towards growing dedicated energy crops and using straw for bioenergy purposes and supply and contract preferences are being investigated. HGCA-funded work draws upon field crop experimentation, farmer survey, economic analysis and LCA approaches exploring the dual crop (food and fuel) potential of winter wheat varieties. Impacts on the environment and rural communities from Jatropha production and Anaerobic Digestion are further research areas.

Combine harvester at work 

Cereal straw provides a potential biomass source and avoids land use change.

Key aims and expertise

Bioenergy research integrates with the wider biofuel research within the School, the University and external universities and research organisations, to examine the farm-level issues and potential for biomass production from UK agriculture, and additionally the impacts of bioenergy production in developing countries.

Bio-economic modelling approaches draw upon primary and secondary data sources, including those data derived from the Farm Business Survey (FBS) for England, associated FBS-survey approaches and farm-level surveys within Ghana. The group also draws upon expertise in field crop experimentation and associated analysis in addition to expertise in the design, implementation and analysis of farmer surveys.

Current projects

Farm Systems Assessment of Bioenergy – LACE, BSBEC (Wilson, P; Ramsden; Sparkes)

Bioenergy from Wheat Straw – HGCA (Wilson, P; Sparkes)

Environmental and Economic Analysis of Jatropha in Ghana (Ramsden; Wilson, P)

Significant results

  • Development of a novel bio-economic farm-level model with the ability to quantify trade-offs between economic, energy and emission metrics
  • Quantified potential future biomass feedstock from straw and energy crops, complemented by farm-level supply chain contract preferences and presented results to DECC, Defra, Dft and the agricultural industry


Farm Systems Assessment of Bioenergy

The University of Nottingham
332 South Laboratory, Sutton Bonington Campus
Loughborough, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 6075