Miscanthus Potential in Croatia

At present, only about 20,000 ha of miscanthus are commercially grown in the EU, mostly in the UK (10,000 ha), France (4000 ha), Germany (4000 ha), Switzerland (500 ha), and Poland (500 ha). Parallel to this, Croatia has 750,000 hectares of unused land. Besides, Croatian territory is classified as one of the best for Miscanthusgiganteus cultivation. Based on these comparisons, Croatia is a high potential country for regional progress in the production of planting material, biomass and products obtained by treatment of biomass.

The development of this idea is generally boosted by more different factors – those who are limiting the development of many industrial sectors in Croatia and EU, and the ones who represents a solution:

EU28 BIOECONOMY CHALLENGES

  • The EU28 agricultural sector needs to economically and sustainably produce food, feed and biomass feedstock.
  • Competition between food, feed, energy and industrial applications is expected to increase leading to price increases.
  • As different sectors – food, feed, fiber, and fuels – compete for land because land availability in EU is limited.
  • The EU’s capacity to sustainably mobilize biomass insufficient quality & quantity for energy and industrial uses is a first key factor for the EU Bio-economy success.

CROATIA BIOENERGY OPPORTUNITY

  • Croatia has both perfect climate conditions and more than 750 000 hectares of unused agricultural land suitable for farming cold tolerant perennial biomass crops (e.g. Miscanthus x giganteus).
  • Bioenergy production in Croatia, except for fuelwood and wood-processing industry waste, has not been used on a larger scale so far.
  • High resource use efficiency, high productivity, good environmental qualities and a number of other beneficial characteristics including a wide range of end uses suit Miscanthus x Giganteus as a key biomass crop for Croatia as well as the Western Balkans.
  • These endeavors are in line with the world global trends for better utilization of natural and energy sources, the biomass energy utilization strategy of the Croatian National Energy Program and the EU Renewable Energy Directive targets.
  • Additional benefits could be numerous socio-economic positive aspects of biomass cultivation and processing (foreign investments, tax revenue, employment, rural development etc.).

References:

Lewandowski, I., Clifton-Brown, J., Trindade, L. M., van der Linden, G. C., Schwarz, K. U., Müller-Sämann, K., … & Farrar, K. (2016). Progress on optimizing miscanthus biomass production for the European bioeconomy: Results of the EU FP7 project OPTIMISC. Frontiers in Plant Science, 7.

http://www.zemljiste.mps.hr/o-agenciji/godisnja-izvjesca.html