Energy crops in recent projects in the Caribbean have been implemented with our design of biomass hedgerows combining 2 species. Ecological services and renewable energies working together.
Many years have passed since 2007 discussion confronting the fact some biofuels where made with corn and annual food crops bringing danger to expansion of bioenergy. Today we know well the possible impacts of different solutions and yes, we try perennials and reforestation to produce a combination of benefits. Read here about this project in St.Croix, US Virgin Islands.
Energy crops have the potential to generate the following advantages:
* Erosion control
* Biodiversity and fauna benefits (birds, mites, etc.) typical in perennial grasses and reforestation programs
* Organic matter increment in soils (we build topsoil)
* Recovery and sustainable conservation of degraded, deforested, abandoned, marginal and extremely low competitive lands. Readan article (July 2014) about land availability today for this purposes.
* Producing social benefit (employment)
How a perennial energy crops with TWO species could help to improve sustainability?
In this case as you can see in pictures above we obtain many befeits from our project in St.Croix (US Virgin Islands). This tropical island requires special attention to produce best results. A coral reef must be protected at the time erosion and big storms need to be studied carefully to avoid a huge impact today.
Hedgerows and windbreakers are possible in this environment. So we define a similar system tried in other countries. Two species (Giant King grass and Guinea grass) working together. One stops the wind and grow with irrigation support. The other is drilled and protects the soil. We cut both and produce methane and power.
You can read in our blog much more on ecological services of sustainable bioenergy crops.
Some literature reviewed on bioenergy and biodiversity
Don’t forget to read our previous posts on bioenergy and ecological services: