This paper reviews the current state of biomass potential studies, discusses the essential driving factors for energy crop potentials and shows the results of a scenario analysis for worldwide energy crop potentials till 2050. The results of previous potential estimates vary widely. A comparison of 19 different assessments showed energy crops potentials ranging from 0. EJ/yr to 1272. EJ/yr in 2050. However, relatively little information is available for the short and mid-term perspective (2020 and 2030). As an increasing demand of energy crops can be expected, the energy crop potentials for 133 individual countries are calculated on the premise that food demand takes priority. Applying a scenario approach with three different scenarios for the years 2010, 2015, 2020 and 2050 the resulting potential changes in a "business as usual" development from 27 EJ in 2010 to 96 EJ in 2050. In comparison, the "sustainable land use" scenario shows much lower potentials with 18 EJ in 2010 and 16 EJ in 2050. The "environment and health" scenario finally produces an almost stable worldwide energy crop potential in the order of 40 EJ for the investigated timeframe. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.
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