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Journal Article

Global bioenergy with carbon capture and storage potential largely constrained by sustainable irrigation


Ai,  Zhipin
External Organizations;

Hanasaki,  Naota
External Organizations;


Heck,  Vera
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Hasegawa,  Tomoko
External Organizations;

Fujimori,  Shinichiro
External Organizations;

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Ai, Z., Hanasaki, N., Heck, V., Hasegawa, T., Fujimori, S. (2021): Global bioenergy with carbon capture and storage potential largely constrained by sustainable irrigation. - Nature Sustainability, 4, 10, 884-891.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_25742
Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) is crucial in many stringent climate scenarios. Although irrigation can enhance BECCS potential, where and to what extent it can enhance global BECCS potential are unknown when constrained by preventing additional water stress and suppressing withdrawal of nonrenewable water resources. With a spatially explicit representation of bioenergy crop plantations and water cycle in an internally consistent model framework, we identified the irrigable bioenergy cropland on the basis of the water resources reserve. Irrigation of such cropland enhanced BECCS potential by only 5–6% (<60–71% for unconstrained irrigation) above the rain-fed potential (0.82–1.99 Gt C yr−1) by the end of this century. Nonetheless, it limited additional water withdrawal (166–298 km3 yr−1), especially from nonrenewable water sources (16–20%), compared with unconstrained irrigation (1,392–3,929 km3 yr−1 and 73–78%). Our findings highlight the importance of irrigation constraints in global BECCS potential.