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Economic Potential of Biomass Based Fuels for Greenhouse Gas Emission Mitigation

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  • Uwe Schneider

    ()

  • Bruce McCarl

    ()

Abstract

Use of biofuels diminishes fossil fuelcombustion thereby also reducing net greenhousegas emissions. However, subsidies are neededto make agricultural biofuel productioneconomically feasible. To explore the economicpotential of biofuels in a greenhouse gasmitigation market, we incorporate data onproduction and biofuel processing for thedesignated energy crops switchgrass, hybridpoplar, and willow in an U.S. AgriculturalSector Model along with data on traditionalcrop-livestock production and processing, andafforestation of cropland. Net emissioncoefficients on all included agriculturalpractices are estimated through crop growthsimulation models or taken from the literature. Potential emission mitigation policies ormarkets are simulated via hypothetical carbonprices. At each carbon price level, theAgricultural Sector Model computes the newmarket equilibrium, revealing agriculturalcommodity prices, regionally specificproduction, input use, and welfare levels,environmental impacts, and adoption ofalternative management practices such asbiofuel production. Results indicate no rolefor biofuels below carbon prices of $40 perton of carbon equivalent. At these incentivelevels, emission reductions via reduced soiltillage and afforestation are more costefficient. For carbon prices above $70,biofuels dominate all other agriculturalmitigation strategies. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1023/A:1023632309097
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in its journal Environmental and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 24 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
Pages: 291-312

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Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:24:y:2003:i:4:p:291-312

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100263

Related research

Keywords: agricultural sector model; alternative energy; biofuel economics; biomass power plants; greenhouse gas emission mitigation; short rotation woody crops; switchgrass;

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  1. Christopher N. MacCracken & James A. Edmonds & Son H. Kim & Ronald D. Sands, 1999. "The Economics of the Kyoto Protocol," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 25-71.
  2. GR Pautsch & LA Kurkalova & BA Babcock & CL Kling, 2001. "The Efficiency Of Sequestering Carbon In Agricultural Soils," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 19(2), pages 123-134, 04.
  3. N. De Liso & G. Filatrella, 1999. "On technology competition," Working Papers 337, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  4. Gallagher, Paul W. & Johnson, Donald, 1999. "Some New Ethanol Technology: Cost Competition and Adoption Effects in the Petroleum Market," Staff General Research Papers 5265, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Robert N. Stavins, 1999. "The Costs of Carbon Sequestration: A Revealed-Preference Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 994-1009, September.
  6. Jinxia Wang & Robert Mendelsohn & Ariel Dinar & Jikun Huang & Scott Rozelle & Lijuan Zhang, 2009. "The impact of climate change on China's agriculture," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(3), pages 323-337, 05.
  7. Schneider, Uwe A. & Kumar, Pushpam, 2008. "Greenhouse Gas Mitigation through Agriculture," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 23(1).
  8. Pautsch, Gregory R. & Kurkalova, Lyubov A. & Babcock, Bruce A. & Kling, Catherine L., 2001. "Efficiency of Sequestering Carbon in Agricultural Soils (The)," Staff General Research Papers 1870, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  9. McCarl, Bruce A. & Schneider, Uwe A., 1999. "Curbing Greenhouse Gases: Agriculture's Role," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 14(1).
  10. Alig, Ralph J. & Adams, Darius M. & McCarl, Bruce A., 1998. "Impacts Of Incorporating Land Exchanges Between Forestry And Agriculture In Sector Models," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Southern Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 30(02), December.
  11. Paul Gallagher & Donald Johnson, 1999. "Some New Ethanol Technology: Cost Competition and Adoption Effects in the Petroleum Market," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 89-120.
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