Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Sustainable Agriculture and the Production of Biomass for Energy Use

Contents:

Author Info

  • Muller, Adrian

    ()
    (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

Modern bioenergy is seen as a promising option to curb greenhouse gas emissions. There is, however, a potential competition for land and water between bioenergy and food crops. Another question is whether biomass for energy use can be produced in a sustainable manner given the current conventional agricultural production practises. Other than the land and water competition, this question is often neglected in scenarios to meet a significant part of global energy demand with bioenergy. In the following, I address this question. There are sustainable alternatives, for example organic agriculture, to avoid the negative environmental effects of conventional agriculture. Yet, meeting a significant part of global energy demand with biomass grown sus- tainably may not be possible, as burning significant quantities of organic matter - inherent in bioenergy use - is likely to be incompatible with the principles of such alternatives, which often rely on biomass input for nutrient balance. There may therefore be a trade-off between policies and practices to increase bioenergy and those to increase sustainability in agriculture via Modern bioenergy is seen as a promising option to curb green- house gas emissions. There is, however, a potential competition for land and water between bioenergy and food crops. Another question is whether biomass for energy use can be produced in a sustainable manner given the current conventional agricultural production practises. Other than the land and water competition, this question is often neglected in scenarios to meet a significant part of global energy demand with bioenergy. In the following, I address this question. There are sustainable alternatives, for example organic agriculture, to avoid the negative environmental effects of conventional agriculture. Yet, meeting a significant part of global energy demand with biomass grown sus- tainably may not be possible, as burning significant quantities of organic matter - inherent in bioenergy use - is likely to be incompatible with the principles of such alternatives, which often rely on biomass input for nutrient balance. There may therefore be a trade-off between policies and practices to increase bioenergy and those to increase sustainability in agriculture via practices such as organic farming. This is not a general critique of bioenergy but it points to additional potential dangers of modern bioenergy as a strategy to meet significant parts of world energy demand.

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: http://hdl.handle.net/2077/2699
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 216.

as in new window
Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: 31 Aug 2006
Date of revision: 22 Apr 2004
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0216

Note: forthcoming in Climatic Change
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: bioenergy; sustainable energy; organic agriculture; land scarcity; water scarcity;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

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. Delucchi, Mark, 2006. "Lifecycle Analyses of Biofuels," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt1pq0f84z, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
  2. Toman, Michael & Simpson, R. David & Ayres, Robert, 2004. "Scarcity and Growth in the New Millennium: Summary," Discussion Papers dp-04-01, Resources For the Future.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

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

Cited by:
  1. M. Bruna Zolin & Bernadette Andreosso O’Callaghan, 2010. "Long-term cereal price changes: how important is the speculative element," Working Papers 2010_23, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  2. Bernadette Andreosso-O’Callaghan & M. Zolin, 2010. "Long-term Cereal Price Changes: How Important is the Speculative Element?," Transition Studies Review, Springer, vol. 17(4), pages 624-637, December.

Lists

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

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0216. 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: (Marie Andersson).

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.