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Potential, spatial distribution and economic performance of regional biomass chains: The North of the Netherlands as example

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Author Info

  • van der Hilst, F.
  • Dornburg, V.
  • Sanders, J.P.M.
  • Elbersen, B.
  • Graves, A.
  • Turkenburg, W.C.
  • Elbersen, H.W.
  • van Dam, J.M.C.
  • Faaij, A.P.C.
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    Abstract

    This work assesses the viability of regional biomass chains by comparing the economic performance of potential bioenergy crops with the performance of current agricultural land uses. The biomass chains assessed are ethanol production from Miscanthus and from sugar beet in the North of the Netherlands. The competitiveness of bioenergy crops is assessed by comparing the Net Present Value (NPV) of perennial crops, current rotations, and rotation schemes which include additional years of sugar beet. The current land use and soil suitability for present and bioenergy crops are mapped using a geographical information system (GIS) and the spatial distribution of economic profitability is used to indicate where land use change is most likely to occur. Bioethanol production costs are then compared with petrol costs. The productions costs comprise costs associated with cultivation, harvest, transport and conversion to ethanol. The NPVs and cost of feedstock production are calculated for seven soil suitability classes. The results show that bioenergy crops are not competitive with current cropping systems on soils classed as "suitable". On less suitable soils, the return on intensively managed crops is low and perennial crops achieve better NPVs than common rotations. Our results showed that minimum feedstock production costs are 5.4Â [euro]/GJ for Miscanthus and 9.7Â [euro]/GJ for sugar beet depending on soil suitability. Ethanol from Miscanthus (24Â [euro]/GJ) is a better option than ethanol from sugar beet (27Â [euro]/GJ) in terms of costs. The cost of bioethanol production from domestically cultivated crops is not competitive with petrol (12.34Â [euro]/GJ) production under current circumstances. We propose that the method demonstrated in this study, provides a generic approach for identifying viable locations for bioenergy crop production based on soil properties and current land use.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Agricultural Systems.

    Volume (Year): 103 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 7 (September)
    Pages: 403-417

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:agisys:v:103:y:2010:i:7:p:403-417

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/agsy

    Related research

    Keywords: Bioethanol Economic analysis Crop production Spatial distribution Sugar beet Miscanthus;

    References

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    1. van den Broek, R & Teeuwisse, S & Healion, K & Kent, T & van Wijk, A & Faaij, A & Turkenburg, W, 2001. "Potentials for electricity production from wood in Ireland," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 26(11), pages 991-1013.
    2. Smeets, Edward M.W. & Lewandowski, Iris M. & Faaij, André P.C., 2009. "The economical and environmental performance of miscanthus and switchgrass production and supply chains in a European setting," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 13(6-7), pages 1230-1245, August.
    3. Hamelinck, Carlo N & Faaij, Andre P.C., 2006. "Outlook for advanced biofuels," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(17), pages 3268-3283, November.
    4. Venturi, P. & Gigler, J.K. & Huisman, W., 1999. "Economical and technical comparison between herbaceous (Miscanthus x giganteus) and woody energy crops (Salix viminalis)," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1023-1026.
    5. Styles, David & Jones, Michael B., 2007. "Current and future financial competitiveness of electricity and heat from energy crops: A case study from Ireland," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 4355-4367, August.
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    Cited by:
    1. Diogo, V. & Koomen, E. & Hilst, F. van der, 2012. "Second generation biofuel production in the Netherlands. A spatially-explicit exploration of the economic viability of a perennial biofuel crop," Serie Research Memoranda 0004, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
    2. van der Hilst, F. & Lesschen, J.P. & van Dam, J.M.C. & Riksen, M. & Verweij, P.A. & Sanders, J.P.M. & Faaij, A.P.C., 2012. "Spatial variation of environmental impacts of regional biomass chains," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 2053-2069.
    3. Laure Bamière, 2014. "A spatially explicit model to analyse the regional supply of ligno-cellulosic biomass," Working Papers 2014/01, INRA, Economie Publique.
    4. P. Mathiou & Stelios Rozakis & Rafal Pudelko & A. Faber & A. Petsakos, 2014. "Utility maximising supply response: the case of perennial biomass plantations in Poland," Working Papers 2014-3, Agricultural University of Athens, Department Of Agricultural Economics.

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