Reports in English

Green growth and a conversion to a biobased economy are crucial for the sustainable development in a world with limited resources. But how is this done in practice and what it actually requires, not just for the Danish economy and energy supply, but also for environment and nature? Is it possible for Danish agriculture and forestry to produce sufficient biomass for a new biorefinery sector, without negative impacts on the environment or food production? Also what would be the consequences of such a development for economic growth and employment? 

These questions have formed the background for a comprehensive study of how environment, technology and economy can be combined to incorporate biomass in the transition to a green economy. A summary of the results is presented in this report. The study was a joint venture between University of Copenhagen and Aarhus University.

The background for the investigation was the question on whether it would be possible in Denmark to increase the production of biomass from agriculture and forestry by

10 million tonnes. This increase should incur no reduction in food production, no expansion of the farmed area just as the solutions needed to have a positive impact on the aquatic environment and biodiversity. Preservation of soil fertility and carbon content were likewise important factors.

The report describes three scenarios:

• A business-as-usual scenario where we just increase the utilisation of the existing agriculture and forestry.

• A biomass-optimised scenario where both agriculture and forestry are adjusted to produce the maximum level of biomass.

• An environment-optimised scenario with emphasis on reducing nutrient leaching and where biodiversity is strengthened by the creation of conservation wood- land.