IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/enepol/v38y2010i1p547-561.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Modelling the costs of energy crops: A case study of US corn and Brazilian sugar cane

Author

Listed:
  • Méjean, Aurélie
  • Hope, Chris

Abstract

High crude oil prices, uncertainties about the consequences of climate change and the eventual decline of conventional oil production raise the prospects of alternative fuels, such as biofuels. This paper describes a simple probabilistic model of the costs of energy crops, drawing on the user's degree of belief about a series of parameters as an input. This forward-looking analysis quantifies the effects of production constraints and experience on the costs of corn and sugar cane, which can then be converted to bioethanol. Land is a limited and heterogeneous resource: the crop cost model builds on the marginal land suitability, which is assumed to decrease as more land is taken into production, driving down the marginal crop yield. Also, the maximum achievable yield is increased over time by technological change, while the yield gap between the actual yield and the maximum yield decreases through improved management practices. The results show large uncertainties in the future costs of producing corn and sugar cane, with a 90% confidence interval of 2.9-7.2$/GJ in 2030 for marginal corn costs, and 1.5-2.5$/GJ in 2030 for marginal sugar cane costs. The influence of each parameter on these supply costs is examined.

Suggested Citation

  • Méjean, Aurélie & Hope, Chris, 2010. "Modelling the costs of energy crops: A case study of US corn and Brazilian sugar cane," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 547-561, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:1:p:547-561
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301-4215(09)00733-2
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bénédicte Vidaillet & V. D'Estaintot & P. Abécassis, 2005. "Introduction," Post-Print hal-00287137, HAL.
    2. Tooraj Jamasb, 2007. "Technical Change Theory and Learning Curves: Patterns of Progress in Electricity Generation Technologies," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 51-72.
    3. Grubb, Michael, 2001. "Who's afraid of atmospheric stabilisation? Making the link between energy resources and climate change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 837-845, September.
    4. McDonald, Alan & Schrattenholzer, Leo, 2001. "Learning rates for energy technologies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 255-261, March.
    5. Eickhout, Bas & van Meijl, Hans & Tabeau, Andrzej & Stehfest, Elke, 2008. "The Impact of Environmental and Climate Constraints on Global Food Supply," GTAP Working Papers 2608, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
    6. Hettinga, W.G. & Junginger, H.M. & Dekker, S.C. & Hoogwijk, M. & McAloon, A.J. & Hicks, K.B., 2009. "Understanding the reductions in US corn ethanol production costs: An experience curve approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 190-203, January.
    7. Grubler, Arnulf & Nakicenovic, Nebojsa & Victor, David G., 1999. "Dynamics of energy technologies and global change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 247-280, May.
    8. Warwick McKibbin & David Pearce & Alison Stegman, 2004. "Long Run Projections For Climate Change Scenarios," CAMA Working Papers 2004-01, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    9. Harty D. Saunders, 1992. "The Khazzoom-Brookes Postulate and Neoclassical Growth," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 131-148.
    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


    Cited by:

    1. Raele, Ricardo & Boaventura, João Mauricio Gama & Fischmann, Adalberto Américo & Sarturi, Greici, 2014. "Scenarios for the second generation ethanol in Brazil," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 205-223.
    2. Bazilian, Morgan & Rogner, Holger & Howells, Mark & Hermann, Sebastian & Arent, Douglas & Gielen, Dolf & Steduto, Pasquale & Mueller, Alexander & Komor, Paul & Tol, Richard S.J. & Yumkella, Kandeh K., 2011. "Considering the energy, water and food nexus: Towards an integrated modelling approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 7896-7906.
    3. Pishgar-Komleh, Seyyed Hassan & Keyhani, Alireza & Mostofi-Sarkari, Mohammad Reza & Jafari, Ali, 2012. "Energy and economic analysis of different seed corn harvesting systems in Iran," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 469-476.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:38:y:2010:i:1:p:547-561. 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). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.