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Advances in Meteorology
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 238945, 9 pages
Research Article

Evaluating the Marginal Land Resources Suitable for Developing Bioenergy in Asia

1State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information Systems, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

Received 23 October 2013; Revised 11 December 2013; Accepted 10 January 2014; Published 13 March 2014

Academic Editor: Shengli Huang

Copyright © 2014 Jingying Fu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bioenergy from energy plants is an alternative fuel that is expected to play an increasing role in fulfilling future world energy demands. Because cultivated land resources are fairly limited, bioenergy development may rely on the exploitation of marginal land. This study focused on the assessment of marginal land resources and biofuel potential in Asia. A multiple factor analysis method was used to identify marginal land for bioenergy development in Asia using multiple datasets including remote sensing-derived land cover, meteorological data, soil data, and characteristics of energy plants and Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques. A combined planting zonation strategy was proposed, which targeted three species of energy plants, including Pistacia chinensis (P. chinensis), Jatropha curcas L. (JCL), and Cassava. The marginal land with potential for planting these types of energy plants was identified for each 1 km2 pixel across Asia. The results indicated that the areas with marginal land suitable for Cassava, P. chinensis, and JCL were established to be 1.12 million, 2.41 million, and 0.237 million km2, respectively. Shrub land, sparse forest, and grassland are the major classifications of exploitable land. The spatial distribution of the analysis and suggestions for regional planning of bioenergy are also discussed.