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Cellulosic Biofuel Supply with Heterogeneous Biomass Suppliers: An Application to Switchgrass-based Ethanol

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  • Rosburg, Alicia
  • Miranowski, John
  • Jacobs, Keri

Abstract

The potential of biomass for alternative energy production has attracted considerable attention because of associated implications for energy security, food supply, and climate change. This paper considers the economic impacts of spatial variation and landowner behavior on potential biomass supply for U.S. cellulosic biofuel. We develop and apply a long-run biomass production through bioenergy conversion cost model that incorporates heterogeneity of biomass suppliers within and between local markets. An application to U.S. switchgrass-based cellulosic ethanol production suggests cost-minimizing biofuel production decisions, which include biorefinery size, biomass transportation distance, and price of biomass, vary significantly across locations. An aggregate switchgrass ethanol supply curve developed from local biofuel supply estimates is used to evaluate the potential for and cost of achieving cellulosic biofuel production targets such as the revised Renewable Fuels Standard. Empirical results suggest spatial variation in biomass production conditions plays an important role in the potential supply and distribution of U.S. cellulosic biofuel production.�

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 36359.

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Date of creation: 13 Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:36359

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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Keywords: biofuel; biomass; cellulosic ethanol; RFS2; switchgrass;

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  1. Paul Gallagher & Mark Dikeman & John Fritz & Eric Wailes & Wayne Gauthier & Hosein Shapouri, 2003. "Supply and Social Cost Estimates for Biomass from Crop Residues in the United States," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 24(4), pages 335-358, April.
  2. Rosburg, Alicia & Miranowski, John, 2013. "An Economic Evaluation of US Biofuel Expansion Using the Biofuel Breakeven Program with GHG Accounting," Staff General Research Papers 36118, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Babcock, Bruce A. & Marette, Stephan & Treguer, David, 2012. "Opportunity for Profitable Investments in Cellulosic Biofuels," Staff General Research Papers 34900, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Lawrence D. Mapemba & Francis M. Epplin & Charles M. Taliaferro & Raymond L. Huhnke, 2007. "Biorefinery Feedstock Production on Conservation Reserve Program Land," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 29(2), pages 227-246.
  5. Bergtold, Jason S. & Fewell, Jason E. & Williams, Jeffery R., 2011. "Farmers’ Willingness to Grow Sweet Sorghum as a Cellulosic Bioenergy Crop: A Stated Choice Approach," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 108068, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  6. Song, Feng & Zhao, Jinhua & Swinton, Scott M., 2009. "Switching to Perennial Energy Crops under Uncertainty and Costly Reversibility," Staff Papers 56195, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
  7. Miranowski, John & Rosburg, Alicia, 2010. "An Economic Breakeven Model of Cellulosic Feedstock Production and Ethanol Conversion with Implied Carbon Pricing," Staff General Research Papers 13166, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  8. Marie Walsh & Daniel de la Torre Ugarte & Hosein Shapouri & Stephen Slinsky, 2003. "Bioenergy Crop Production in the United States: Potential Quantities, Land Use Changes, and Economic Impacts on the Agricultural Sector," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 24(4), pages 313-333, April.
  9. Gan, Jianbang, 2007. "Supply of biomass, bioenergy, and carbon mitigation: Method and application," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 6003-6009, December.
  10. Altman, Ira J. & Bergtold, Jason S. & Sanders, Dwight R. & Johnson, Thomas G., 2011. "Producer Willingness to Supply Biomass: the Effects of Price and Producer Characteristics," 2011 Annual Meeting, February 5-8, 2011, Corpus Christi, Texas 98804, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  11. Torre Ugarte, Daniel de la & Walsh, Marie E. & Shapouri, Hosein & Slinsky, Stephen P., 2003. "The Economic Impacts of Bioenergy Crop Production on U.S. Crop Production," Agricultural Economics Reports 33997, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  12. Madhu Khanna & Xiaoguang Chen & Haixiao Huang & Hayri Onal, 2011. "Supply of Cellulosic Biofuel Feedstocks and Regional Production Pattern," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(2), pages 473-480.
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