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A quantitative assessment of the determinants of the net energy value of biofuels

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  • Bureau, Jean-Christophe
  • Disdier, Anne-Célia
  • Gauroy, Christine
  • Tréguer, David

Abstract

Many studies have investigated the net energy balance of biofuel products (in terms of savings on fossil fuels) and assessed the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from substituting biofuels for fossil fuel. These studies provide very different results, with net balance ranging from highly positive to negative. Our study analyses a large sample of these studies by retrieving the main parameters used and converting them into units of measurement that are comparable. This information is used to unravel the main determinants of the differences in net energy value across studies. Our approach relies on descriptive statistics and econometric estimates based on a meta-analysis methodology. Our results suggest that the large variability across studies can be explained by the degree to which particular inputs (i.e. nitrogen, farm labor) are controlled for, and the way fossil energy consumption is allocated to the various co-products.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 38 (2010)
Issue (Month): 5 (May)
Pages: 2282-2290

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:5:p:2282-2290

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

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Keywords: Biofuels Net energy value Meta-analysis;

References

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  1. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  2. Searchinger, Timothy & Heimlich, Ralph & Houghton, R. A. & Dong, Fengxia & Elobeid, Amani & Fabiosa, Jacinto F. & Tokgoz, Simla & Hayes, Dermot J. & Yu, Hun-Hsiang, 2008. "Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change," Staff General Research Papers 12881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Shapouri, Hosein & Duffield, James A. & Graboski, Michael S., 1995. "Estimating the Net Energy Balance of Corn Ethanol," Agricultural Economics Reports 34005, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  4. Jon Nelson & Peter Kennedy, 2009. "The Use (and Abuse) of Meta-Analysis in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: An Assessment," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 42(3), pages 345-377, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Fabio Menten & Benoît Chèze & Laure Patouillard & Frédérique Bouvart, 2013. "The use of Meta-Regression Analysis to harmonize LCA literature: an application to GHG emissions of 2nd and 3rd generation biofuels," Working Papers 2013/01, INRA, Economie Publique.
  2. Bouët, Antoine & Dimaranan, Betina V. & Valin, Hugo, 2010. "Modeling the global trade and environmental impacts of biofuel policies," IFPRI discussion papers 1018, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Russo, D. & Dassisti, M. & Lawlor, V. & Olabi, A.G., 2012. "State of the art of biofuels from pure plant oil," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 4056-4070.
  4. Geraldes Castanheira, Érica & Grisoli, Renata & Freire, Fausto & Pecora, Vanessa & Coelho, Suani Teixeira, 2014. "Environmental sustainability of biodiesel in Brazil," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 680-691.
  5. Mosnier, A. & Havlík, P. & Valin, H. & Baker, J. & Murray, B. & Feng, S. & Obersteiner, M. & McCarl, B.A. & Rose, S.K. & Schneider, U.A., 2013. "Alternative U.S. biofuel mandates and global GHG emissions: The role of land use change, crop management and yield growth," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 602-614.

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