Today, the Gas for Climate consortium publishes a paper which shows that silage crops grown in a sequential cropping system, as cultivated in Europe, meet the evaluation criteria for ‘advanced feedstock’ as included in Annex IX of the REDII. Being included in Annex IX would make the feedstock eligible to be double counted towards renewable transport targets and would send a clear signal about the sustainability of this cropping system.
Silage crops are harvested early in a sequential cropping system, meaning they are not fully matured crops. This enables them to be produced in combination with a main crop on the same plot of land without lowering main crop yields. This practice therefore increases overall agricultural output of existing agricultural land. Sequential cropping can be applied in a sustainable way, compliant with EU sustainability criteria for bioenergy feedstocks and not leading to negative environmental impacts under European climatological conditions. Its contribution towards a sustainable biomethane potential can be significant.
The paper explains a feasible model for sustainable silage crops in line with Article 28(6) of the REDII. Points of attention can be water, soil, and biodiversity. However, the model as implemented under ‘Biogasdoneright’ can assure no negative impacts and can even lead to positive impacts.
The paper concludes that silage crops grown in a sequential cropping system are a good match with the evaluation criteria set out in Article 28(6), paragraph b of the EU REDII. These criteria are used by the European Commission to assess whether feedstocks should be included as ‘advanced feedstocks’ in Annex IX. The Gas for Climate consortium therefore recommends that the EC includes silage crops grown in a sequential cropping system in their next revision of Annex IX.
The full paper can be read here.