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Costs of meeting a cellulosic biofuel mandate with perennial energy crops: Implications for policy

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  • Miao, Ruiqing
  • Khanna, Madhu

Abstract

We develop an analytical framework to examine the extent to which farmers' risk and time preferences, availability of credit to cover establishment cost, and subsidized crop insurance for conventional crops influence the decision to allocate land to a perennial energy crop and affect the costs of meeting a biofuel mandate using this crop as feedstock and its implications for the effectiveness of two alternative policies to supplement the mandate: an establishment cost subsidy and subsidized energy crop insurance. We examine the design of these policies to minimize the total (public and private) costs for meeting a one-billion-gallon biofuel mandate by using miscanthus as feedstock. We find that a high degree of risk aversion, high discount rate, credit constraint, and availability of crop insurance for conventional crops can increase the cost of producing enough biomass for a one-billion-gallon biofuel mandate by up to 43% and increase the land required by 16% as compared to otherwise; removal of subsidized crop insurance and credit constraints could lower these costs by 50%. We find that in most cases the cost-effective energy crop insurance subsidy rate is 0% whereas the cost-effective establishment cost subsidy rate is 100%. Relative to the case with no policy intervention for energy crops, energy crop insurance can reduce the total costs (net of government expenditures on subsidies) of meeting the 1 billion gallon mandate by 1.3% whereas establishment cost subsidy can reduce these costs by 34%.

Suggested Citation

  • Miao, Ruiqing & Khanna, Madhu, 2017. "Costs of meeting a cellulosic biofuel mandate with perennial energy crops: Implications for policy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 321-334.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eneeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:321-334
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eneco.2017.03.018
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    Cited by:

    1. Majeed, Fahd & Khanna, Madhu & Miao, Ruiqing & Blanc, Elena & Hudiburg, Tara & DeLucia, Evan, 2020. "Designing payments for GHG mitigation to induce low carbon bioenergy production," 2020 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, Kansas City, Missouri 304394, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. McCarty, Tanner & Sesmero, Juan, 2021. "Contracting for perennial energy crops and the cost-effectiveness of the Biomass Crop Assistance Program," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 149(C).
    3. Madhu Khanna, 2021. "Digital Transformation of the Agricultural Sector: Pathways, Drivers and Policy Implications," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 43(4), pages 1221-1242, December.
    4. Ruiqing Miao & Madhu Khanna, 2017. "Effectiveness of the Biomass Crop Assistance Program: Roles of Behavioral Factors, Credit Constraint, and Program Design," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 39(4), pages 584-608.
    5. Majeed, Fahd & Khanna, Madhu & Miao, Ruiqing & Betes, Elena Blanc & Hudiburg, Tara & DeLucia, Evan, 2022. "Payment for carbon mitigation reduces riskiness of bioenergy crop production," 2022 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Anaheim, California 322277, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    6. Mohit Anand & Ruiqing Miao & Madhu Khanna, 2019. "Adopting bioenergy crops: Does farmers’ attitude toward loss matter?," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 50(4), pages 435-450, July.
    7. Leibensperger, Carrie & Yang, Pan & Zhao, Qiankun & Wei, Shuran & Cai, Ximing, 2021. "The synergy between stakeholders for cellulosic biofuel development: Perspectives, opportunities, and barriers," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 137(C).
    8. Vo, Long Hai & Le, Thai-Ha, 2021. "Eatery, energy, environment and economic system, 1970–2017: Understanding volatility spillover patterns in a global sample," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 100(C).
    9. Ram N. Acharya & Rafael Perez-Pena, 2020. "Role of Comparative Advantage in Biofuel Policy Adoption in Latin America," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(4), pages 1-13, February.
    10. Madhu Khanna & Ruiqing Miao, 2022. "Inducing the adoption of emerging technologies for sustainable intensification of food and renewable energy production: insights from applied economics," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 66(1), pages 1-23, January.
    11. Prasenjit N. Ghosh & Ruiqing Miao & Emir Malikov, 2023. "Crop insurance premium subsidy and irrigation water withdrawals in the western United States," The Geneva Papers on Risk and Insurance - Issues and Practice, Palgrave Macmillan;The Geneva Association, vol. 48(4), pages 968-992, October.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Risk aversion; Time preferences; Crop insurance; Establishment cost; Miscanthus;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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