Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

An integrated assessment of a large-scale biodiesel production in Italy: Killing several birds with one stone?


Author Info

  • Russi, Daniela
Registered author(s):


    Biofuels are often presented as a contribution towards the solution of the problems related to our strong dependency on fossil fuels, i.e. greenhouse effect, energy dependency, urban pollution, besides being a way to support rural development. In this paper, an integrated assessment approach is employed to discuss the social desirability of a large-scale biodiesel production in Italy, taking into account social, environmental and economic factors. The conclusion is that the advantages in terms of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, energy dependency and urban pollution would be very modest. The small benefits would not be enough to offset the huge costs in terms of land requirement: if the target of the European Directive 2003/30/EC were reached (5.75% of the energy used for transport by 2010) the equivalent of about one-third of the Italian agricultural land would be needed. The consequences would be a considerable increase in food imports and large environmental impacts in the agricultural phase. Also, since biodiesel must be de-taxed in order to make it competitive with oil-derived diesel, the Italian energy revenues would be reduced. In the end, rural development remains the only sound reason to promote biodiesel, but even for this objective other strategies look more advisable, like supporting organic agriculture.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

    Volume (Year): 36 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 3 (March)
    Pages: 1169-1180

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:3:p:1169-1180

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Related research



    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
    as in new window
    1. Cleveland, Cutler J., 2005. "Net energy from the extraction of oil and gas in the United States," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 769-782.
    2. Bona, S. & Mosca, G. & Vamerali, T., 1999. "Oil crops for biodiesel production in Italy," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 1053-1056.
    3. Wolf, J. & Bindraban, P. S. & Luijten, J. C. & Vleeshouwers, L. M., 2003. "Exploratory study on the land area required for global food supply and the potential global production of bioenergy," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 841-861, June.
    4. Dorado, M.P. & Cruz, F. & Palomar, J.M. & López, F.J., 2006. "An approach to the economics of two vegetable oil-based biofuels in Spain," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 31(8), pages 1231-1237.
    5. Cleveland, Cutler J. & Kaufmann, Robert K. & Stern, David I., 2000. "Aggregation and the role of energy in the economy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 301-317, February.
    6. Puhan, Sukumar & Vedaraman, N. & Sankaranarayanan, G. & Ram, Boppana V. Bharat, 2005. "Performance and emission study of Mahua oil (madhuca indica oil) ethyl ester in a 4-stroke natural aspirated direct injection diesel engine," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 30(8), pages 1269-1278.
    7. Janulis, P., 2004. "Reduction of energy consumption in biodiesel fuel life cycle," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 861-871.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Yang, Hong & Zhou, Yuan & Liu, Junguo, 2009. "Land and water requirements of biofuel and implications for food supply and the environment in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1876-1885, May.
    2. Ariza-Montobbio, Pere & Lele, Sharachchandra, 2010. "Jatropha plantations for biodiesel in Tamil Nadu, India: Viability, livelihood trade-offs, and latent conflict," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 189-195, December.
    3. Iliopoulos, Constantine & Rozakis, Stelios, 2010. "Environmental cost-effectiveness of bio diesel production in Greece: Current policies and alternative scenarios," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 1067-1078, February.
    4. Arslan, RIdvan & Ulusoy, Yahya & Tekin, Yücel & Sürmen, Ali, 2010. "An evaluation of the alternative transport fuel policies for Turkey," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 3030-3037, June.
    5. Özdemir, Enver Doruk & Härdtlein, Marlies & Eltrop, Ludger, 2009. "Land substitution effects of biofuel side products and implications on the land area requirement for EU 2020 biofuel targets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 2986-2996, August.
    6. Omann, Ines & Stocker, Andrea & Jäger, Jill, 2009. "Climate change as a threat to biodiversity: An application of the DPSIR approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 24-31, November.
    7. Avinash, A. & Subramaniam, D. & Murugesan, A., 2014. "Bio-diesel—A global scenario," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 517-527.
    8. Silvestrini, A. & Monni, S. & Pregernig, M. & Barbato, A. & Dallemand, J.-F. & Croci, E. & Raes, F., 2010. "The role of cities in achieving the EU targets on biofuels for transportation: The cases of Berlin, London, Milan and Helsinki," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 44(6), pages 403-417, July.
    9. Grau, Baquero & Bernat, Esteban & Antoni, Rius & Jordi-Roger, Riba & Rita, Puig, 2010. "Small-scale production of straight vegetable oil from rapeseed and its use as biofuel in the Spanish territory," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 189-196, January.
    10. Md. I. Haque & Stelios Rozakis & A. Natsis & M. Borzecka-Walker & K. Mizak, 2011. "Cost effectiveness of bio-ethanol to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in Greece," Working Papers 2011-3, Agricultural University of Athens, Department Of Agricultural Economics.
    11. Elena, Galan-del-Castillo & Esther, Velazquez, 2010. "From water to energy: The virtual water content and water footprint of biofuel consumption in Spain," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 1345-1352, March.
    12. Chiabrando, Roberto & Fabrizio, Enrico & Garnero, Gabriele, 2009. "The territorial and landscape impacts of photovoltaic systems: Definition of impacts and assessment of the glare risk," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 13(9), pages 2441-2451, December.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:3:p:1169-1180. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.