Dr. Kesheng Shu
Bioenergy Landscapes in China: Blessing or Curse?
Mentor: Prof. Dr. Jürgen Scheffran
Abstract / Kurzbeschreibung des Nachhaltigkeitsprojektes:
China, as the most populous country and the second largest economy in the world, is boosting bioenergy development on its soil. Bioenergy can alleviate the country’s high dependence on energy imports and lead to infrastructure investments in rural areas, which have long been neglected during China’s rapid urbanization process. Additionally, bioenergy can release people (often women) from fuelwood collection, improve the quality of rural residents’ life, increase social participation of the local community and decrease the cost of commercial energy, a significant expenditure for rural households. Apart from social and economic benefits, bioenergy can mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The Chinese government emphasized this environmental benefit in its "Mid-Long Term Development Plan for Renewable Energy".
Despite bioenergy’s potential economic, social and environmental benefits, critics have indicated potential drawbacks. Particularly, bioenergy landscapes would involve substantial land use change. This change would, on the one hand, imply the diversion of agricultural resources from traditional food crops and, as a result, could jeopardize food security. On the other hand, this land use change could exacerbate biodiversity loss. In this context, the European Union, for example, has refined policy instruments supporting bioenergy and considered a certification mechanism to assure a more sustainable production of bioenergy products.
This project focuses on major interactions of bioenergy development at different scales and regulation scenarios with other development objectives, particularly, the interactions of bioenergy with the security of food, water, soil, climate, ecosystem services, and social development. The primary objective of this project is to perform a holistic assessment of bioenergy development in China and to identify regionally specific pathways with the viable balance of economic, social, and environmental benefits. The expected findings of the project will help policy makers to better regulate the development of bioenergy from a more comprehensive perspective.
Scientific Short Biography:
- 09/2002- 07/2006 B.Sc. in Geology, China University of Geosciences
- 03/2004- 07/2006 B.Sc. in Economics, Wuhan University
- 09/2006- 07/2008 M.Sc. in Regional economics, Chongqing Technology and Business University
- 09/2008- 01/2015 Joint Ph.D. in Human geography, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences & University of Hamburg
- 10/2012-06/2013 Visiting scholar, Institute for advanced studies on science, technology and society (IAS-STS)
- 01/2016- 12/2017 Fellow im Postdoc-Kolleg „Sustainable Future“ des Kompetenzzentrums Nachhaltige Universität
- Seit 01/2018 Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Pulawy, Poland
Keywords for the Sustainability Project:
Bioenergy, development, climate change, model, China