Land and water requirements of biofuel and implications for food supply and the environment in China
The increasing thirst for energy to fuel its fast growing economy has made China keen to explore the potential of modern form of bioenergy, biofuel. This study investigates the land and water requirements of biofuel in China with reference to the government biofuel development plans for 2010 and 2020. The concept of land and water footprints of biofuel is applied for the investigation. The result shows that the current level of bioethanol production consumes 3.5-4% of total maize production of the country, reducing market availability of maize for other uses by about 6%. It is projected that depending on the types of feedstock, 5-10% of the total cultivated land in China would need to be devoted to meet the biofuel production target of 12 million metric tons for the year 2020. The associated water requirement would amount to 32-72km3 per year, approximately equivalent to the annual discharge of the Yellow River. The net contribution of biofuel to the national energy pool could be limited due to generally low net energy return of conventional feedstocks. The current biofuel development paths could pose significant impacts on China's food supply and trade, as well as the environment.
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
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.:
- Russi, Daniela, 2008. "An integrated assessment of a large-scale biodiesel production in Italy: Killing several birds with one stone?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 1169-1180, March.
- Bennett, Michael T., 2008. "China's sloping land conversion program: Institutional innovation or business as usual?," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(4), pages 699-711, May.
- Cleveland, Cutler J., 2005. "Net energy from the extraction of oil and gas in the United States," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 769-782.
- Peters, Jörg & Thielmann, Sascha, 2008.
"Promoting biofuels: Implications for developing countries,"
Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 1538-1544, April.
- Peters, Jörg & Thielmann, Sascha, 2008. "Promoting Biofuels: Implications for Developing Countries," Ruhr Economic Papers 38, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
- Shapouri, Hosein & Duffield, James A. & Wang, Michael Q., 2002. "The Energy Balance of Corn Ethanol: An Update," Agricultural Economics Reports 34075, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
- Hong Yang & Alexander Zehnder, 2001. "China's regional water scarcity and implications for grain supply and trade," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 33(1), pages 79-95, January.
- A. Hoekstra & A. Chapagain, 2007. "Water footprints of nations: Water use by people as a function of their consumption pattern," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 21(1), pages 35-48, January. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:5:p:1876-1885. 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: (Dana Niculescu)
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.