Potential for carbon sequestration and mitigation of climate change by irrigation of grasslands
2014 (English)In: Applied Energy, ISSN 0306-2619, E-ISSN 1872-9118, Vol. 136, 1145-1154 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The climate change mitigation potential of irrigation powered by a photovoltaic water pumping system (PVWPS) to restore degraded grasslands has been investigated using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2006 Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use. The purpose of this study is to develop a generic and simple method to estimate the climate change mitigation benefit of a PVWPS. The possibility to develop carbon credits for the carbon offset markets has also been studied comparing carbon sequestration in grasslands to other carbon sequestration projects. The soil carbon sequestration following irrigation of the grassland is calculated as an annual increase in the soil organic carbon pool. The PVWPS can also generate an excess of electricity when irrigation is not needed and the emissions reductions due to substitution of grid electricity give additional climate change mitigation potential. The results from this study show that the carbon sequestration and emissions reductions benefits per land area using a PVWPS for irrigating grasslands are comparable to other carbon sequestration options such as switching to no-till practice. Soil carbon in irrigated grasslands is increased with over 60% relative to severely degraded grasslands and if nitrogen fixing species are introduced the increase in soil organic carbon can be almost 80%. Renewable electricity generation by the PVWPS will further increase the mitigation benefit of the system with 70-90%. When applying the methodology developed in this paper to a case in Qinghai, China, we conclude that using a PVWPS to restore degraded grasslands for increased grass production and desertification control has a climate change mitigation benefit of 148 Mg (1 Mg = 1 metric ton) CO2-equivalents (CO2-eq) per hectare in a cold temperate, dry climate during a 20 year process of soil organic carbon sequestration and emissions reductions. Leakage due to an increase in N2O emissions from the additional biomass production and introduction of nitrogen fixing species is included in this result. The most important conclusion from our case is that if soil carbon sequestration is lower than 24 Mg CO2-eq per hectare including leakage, then the climate change mitigation benefit is larger if PV is used to produce electricity for the grid.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 136, 1145-1154 p.
Grassland conservation, Irrigation, Soil organic carbon, CO2 emission reduction, Carbon sequestration
Other Natural Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-158265DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2014.08.025ISI: 000345725800110ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84909587682OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-158265DiVA: diva2:778184
FunderSida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
QC 201501092015-01-092015-01-072016-07-11Bibliographically approved