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Can organic farming help to reduce national energy consumption and emissions of greenhouse gasses in Denmark?

Dalgaard, T.; Halberg, N. and Fenger, J. (2002) Can organic farming help to reduce national energy consumption and emissions of greenhouse gasses in Denmark? In: van Lerland, E.C. and Lansink, A.O. (Eds.) Economics of sustainable energy in agriculture. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands , p. 18.

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Methods to investigate whether organic farming might help toreduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions areneeded. The aim of this study is for the first to present anupscaling procedure, where an existing farm level energyconsumption model, in combination with the IntergovernmentalPanel on Climate Change’s guidelines, is used to calculateagricultural energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissionson the national level. Secondly, this procedure is used to simulatescenarios for conversion to organic farming in Denmark.Three scenarios for conversion to organic farming with thepresent crop yield and an expected improved future crop yieldare compared to the 1996-situation in Denmark, whereconventional farming dominates. In all scenarios, fossil energyuse and emissions of the three major agricultural greenhousegases carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are reduced.The highest reduction in the net energy use (49-51%) is found ina scenario (A) with 100% fodder self-sufficiency and reducedlivestock production, while the lowest reduction (10-16%) isfound in a scenario (C), with the same animal production as in1996. The average energy use per fodder unit in the organic cropproduction (1.4-1.5 MJ/fodder unit) and livestock production(18-24 MJ/livestock unit), was lower than in the 1996-situation(2.5 MJ/fodder unit, and 30 MJ/livestock unit). However, totalproduction was also lower in the organic scenarios, whichfurthermore had different compositions, with lower potentials forfuture bio-energy production.

EPrint Type:Report chapter
Keywords:Fossil energy, Greenhouse gas, Upscaling methodology, Organic farming, Carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide, Agroecology, Bio-energy
Subjects: Environmental aspects
Research affiliation: Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, DJF - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Deposited By: Hansen, Grethe
ID Code:15525
Deposited On:09 Mar 2009
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:39
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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