For the purpose of Croatian abandoned agricultural areas revitalization, experts from the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb (Prof. Neven Voća, Ph.D., Assist. Prof. Nikola Bilandžija, PhD, Luka Cerovečki, Mag. Ing. Agr., And Prof. Tajana Krička, Ph.D.) have analysed current state and identified the possibilities of introducing miscanthus to these areas. They concluded that biomass production can have a direct impact on reducing fossil energy and fuel imports, encouraging energy independence and reducing the negative impact on the environment and climate change. In addition, the use of biomass enables the creation of new and saving the existing jobs in rural areas, increases the local and regional economic activities, and generates additional incomes in agricultural production.
The revitalization of marginal agricultural soils poses one of the major challenges to the Croatian agriculture. One of the viable solutions could be the introduction of perennial energy crop Miscanthus x giganteus in the intensive agricultural bioenergy production. Miscanthus is characterized by the possibility of growth under different agro-ecological conditions, featuring low growth requirements and high-yielding biomass production. The purpose of this paper is to determine the possibility of the Miscanthus introduction to currently abandoned and marginal agricultural lands in Croatia. There are more than 600,000 ha of that type of lands, identified as potentially interesting areas for planting various energy crops. Furthermore, it will be determined how much biomass and how many various biofuels can be produced from Miscanthus x giganteus devoted to 5 %, 10 % and 15 % of the potentially available abandoned land.
To achieve the goals set by 2020 and 2030, and in the period thereafter, the European Union (Croatia included) is determined to develop new renewable energy sources. Although renewable sources such as the sun and the wind played a significant role in the energy supply of the European Union during the past 10 years, it has been found that the considerable potential lies in the field of biomass. Croatia has more than 600,000 ha of abandoned lands, identifying the counties of Sisak-Moslavina, Karlovac and Lika-Senj as the potentially most favorable for the Miscanthus x giganteus production. On the basis of the analysis of the Miscanthus cultivation on the abandoned areas in the Sisak-Moslavina, Karlovac and Lika-Senj counties, it can be concluded that there is the great potential for producing biomass and bioenergy – biogas, bioethanol and thermal energy. Biomass production can have a direct impact on reducing fossil energy and fuel imports, encouraging energy independence and reducing the negative impact on the environment and climate change. In addition, the use of biomass enables the creation of new and saving the existing jobs in rural areas, increases the local and regional economic activities, and generates additional incomes in agricultural production.
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