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An Economic Evaluation of US Biofuel Expansion Using the Biofuel Breakeven Program with GHG Accounting

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Author Info

  • Rosburg, Alicia
  • Miranowski, John

Abstract

We present results from an application of the Biofuel Breakeven program (BioBreak) to 14 US cellulosic ethanol markets that vary by feedstock and location.� BioBreak estimates the economic costs of cellulosic biofuel production for each market and identifies the necessary conditions to sustain long-run markets.� Based on current market conditions, our results suggest that long-run cellulosic ethanol production is not sustainable without significant government intervention or high long-run oil prices ($135-$170 per barrel).� Using life-cycle analysis for cellulosic ethanol and conventional gasoline, we extend the BioBreak program results to derive an implicit value of reduced greenhouse gas emissions embodied in cellulosic ethanol.� For the markets considered in our analysis, sustaining cellulosic ethanol production is equivalent to valuing the reduction in CO2 equivalents between $141 and $282 per metric ton.

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File URL: http://www.agbioforum.org/v14n3/v14n3a03-rosburg.htm
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 36118.

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Date of creation: 15 Apr 2013
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Publication status: Published in AgBioForum 2011, vol. 14 no. 3, pp. 111-119
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:36118

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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Related research

Keywords: biofuel; Biofuel policies; biomass; carbon tax; cellulosic ethanol; Greenhouse gas emissions; life-cycle analysis; renewable fuel standard;

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Cited by:
  1. Rosburg, Alicia & Miranowski, John & Jacobs, Keri, 2013. "Cellulosic Biofuel Supply with Heterogeneous Biomass Suppliers: An Application to Switchgrass-based Ethanol," Staff General Research Papers 36359, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.

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