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19-23 SEPTEMBER 2016

European Ecosystem Services Conference: Helping nature to help us (OpenNESS final conference, jointly with OPERAs, ESP and ECOPLAN), Antwerp, Belgium

Case 08 - Bioenergy-related synergies and trade-offs in ES provision in Central Germany

Based on the EU Renewable Energy Directive (2009/28/EC) and the Fuel Quality Directive (2009/30/EC) the German government passed a law amendment for the Renewable Energy Law, coming into force in January 2012. The new law aims at an increase of renewable energy provision up to 35% in 2020. A large fraction of this energy will be provided by wind parks and other sources. Yet the German government also assumes a doubling of the area for energy plants for energy production from 2 Mio ha to 4 Mio ha in Germany.

These developments raise concerns with respect to further increase of large intensive monocultures, nutrient- and GHG-fluxes, decreasing biodiversity, aesthetic changes in the landscapes and negative impacts on recreation and tourism.

The objective of this case study is to explore synergies and trade-offs of bioenergy production with other ecosystem services using the federal state of Saxony as a case study.

The added value of analysing bioenergy production and competing other land uses within the ES and NC framework is that (i) it goes beyond conventional instruments such as ecological audits or environmental risk assessments, and (ii) enables the analysis of trade-offs and synergies in biophysical, as well as in (non-monetary) economic units.

The case study team includes Jörg Priess from the Department of Computational Landscape Ecology and Jennifer Hauck from the Department of Environmental Politics both of the Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, as well as Daniel Wurbs und Thomas Koschitzki of the company GEOFLUX.

The team will assess and simulate the impact of the production of energy plants on the provision of ecosystem services. The team will apply a combination of policy analysis, biophysical modelling and preference analyses for cultural ecosystem services such as landscape aesthetics.

A Case Study Advisory Board consisting of stakeholders in the field of bioenergy production will support the research and ensure the relevance of our research. It was formally established in June 2014.