Over the last fifty years the agricultural sector worldwide has gradually changed its production technologies, market relevance, and energy consumption and has been playing varied societal and economic roles. In particular, the shift from extensive to intensive agriculture, although meeting only a fraction of the global food demand, has sharply increased the energy footprint of food production worsening the global and local environmental problems and increasing fossil energy dependence. The study evaluates the life cycle energy intensity of select agricultural systems in the world, characterized by a different relative contribution of the agricultural sector to the national economy. The assessment points out, quantifies and compares the different performances of national agriculture sectors. By monitoring and evaluating these performances over time, the study provides comprehensive information on the efficiency and effectiveness of energy use over the entire production chain in terms of yield (energy investment/product mass; energy investment/energy content), power density (energy/cropped land) and economic productivity (energy/economic production value). Results help in decision-making process at all levels to identify crucial aspects where inefficiency or inappropriate resource use takes place.

Energy Sustainability Issues in Agriculture: Lessons from Developing and Developed Countries

Patrizia Ghisellini;Marco Setti
2015

Abstract

Over the last fifty years the agricultural sector worldwide has gradually changed its production technologies, market relevance, and energy consumption and has been playing varied societal and economic roles. In particular, the shift from extensive to intensive agriculture, although meeting only a fraction of the global food demand, has sharply increased the energy footprint of food production worsening the global and local environmental problems and increasing fossil energy dependence. The study evaluates the life cycle energy intensity of select agricultural systems in the world, characterized by a different relative contribution of the agricultural sector to the national economy. The assessment points out, quantifies and compares the different performances of national agriculture sectors. By monitoring and evaluating these performances over time, the study provides comprehensive information on the efficiency and effectiveness of energy use over the entire production chain in terms of yield (energy investment/product mass; energy investment/energy content), power density (energy/cropped land) and economic productivity (energy/economic production value). Results help in decision-making process at all levels to identify crucial aspects where inefficiency or inappropriate resource use takes place.
Energy Security and Development
485
512
Patrizia Ghisellini; Sergio Ulgiati; Marco Setti;
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/468168
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