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Oil price, biofuels and food supply

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  • Timilsina, Govinda R.
  • Mevel, Simon
  • Shrestha, Ashish

Abstract

The price of oil could play a significant role in influencing the expansion of biofuels, but this issue has yet to be fully investigated in the literature. Using a global computable general equilibrium (CGE) model, this study analyzes the impact of oil price on biofuel expansion, and subsequently, on food supply. The study shows that a 65% increase in oil price in 2020 from the 2009 level would increase the global biofuel penetration to 5.4% in 2020 from 2.4% in 2009. If oil prices rise 150% from their 2009 levels by 2020, the resulting penetration of biofuels would be 9%, which is higher than that would be caused by current mandates and targets introduced in more than forty countries around the world. The study also shows that aggregate agricultural output drops due to an oil price increase, but the drop is small in major biofuel producing countries as the expansion of biofuels would partially offset the negative impacts of the oil price increase on agricultural outputs. An increase in oil price would reduce global food supply through direct impacts as well as through the diversion of food commodities and cropland towards the production of biofuels.

Suggested Citation

  • Timilsina, Govinda R. & Mevel, Simon & Shrestha, Ashish, 2011. "Oil price, biofuels and food supply," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(12), pages 8098-8105.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:12:p:8098-8105
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2011.10.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:inteco:v:150:y:2017:i:c:p:1-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Ladislav Kristoufek & Karel Janda & David Zilberman, 2012. "Mutual Responsiveness of Biofuels, Fuels and Food Prices," CAMA Working Papers 2012-38, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    3. Doshi, Amar & Pascoe, Sean & Coglan, Louisa & Rainey, Thomas J., 2016. "Economic and policy issues in the production of algae-based biofuels: A review," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 329-337.
    4. Virginie Doumax & Jean-Marc Philip & Cristina Sarasa, 2013. "Biofuels, tax policies and oil price: insights from a dynamic CGE model," EcoMod2013 5417, EcoMod.
    5. De Lucia, Caterina & Bartlett, Mark, 2014. "Implementing a biofuel economy in the EU: Lessons from the SUSTOIL project and future perspectives for next generation biofuels," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 22-30.
    6. Ladislav Kristoufek & Karel Janda & David Zilberman, 2013. "Non-linear price transmission between biofuels, fuels and food commodities," Working Papers IES 2013/16, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, revised Oct 2013.
    7. M'Barek, Robert & Philippidis, George & Suta, Cornelia & Vinyes, Cristina & Caivano, Arnaldo & Ferrari, Emanuele & Ronzon, Tevecia & Sanjuan Lopez, Ana & Santini, Fabien, 2014. "Observing and analysing the Bioeconomy in the EU – Adapting data and tools to new questions and challenges," Bio-based and Applied Economics Journal, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA), issue 1, April.
    8. Timilsina, Govinda R., 2013. "How much does an increase in oil prices affect the global economy ? some insights from a general equilibrium analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6515, The World Bank.
    9. Doumax, Virginie & Philip, Jean-Marc & Sarasa, Cristina, 2014. "Biofuels, tax policies and oil prices in France: Insights from a dynamic CGE model," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 603-614.
    10. Nigatu, Getachew & Hjort, Kim & Somwaru, Agapi & Hansen, James, 2015. "Projecting the effect of oil price regimes on biofuel markets," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205312, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    11. Al-Maadid, Alanoud & Caporale, Guglielmo Maria & Spagnolo, Fabio & Spagnolo, Nicola, 2017. "Spillovers between food and energy prices and structural breaks," International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 1-18.
    12. Rico, J.A.P. & Sauer, I.L., 2015. "A review of Brazilian biodiesel experiences," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 513-529.
    13. Junker, Franziska & Wolf, Verena & Marquardt, Sandra & Ledebur, Oliver, 2015. "Changes to EU Biofuel Policy- Turmoil on Feedstock Markets," 2015 Conference, August 9-14, 2015, Milan, Italy 211819, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    14. Hasan AYDOGAN & Mario HIRZ & Helmut BRUNNER, 2014. "The use and future of biofuels," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 0702136, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    15. Wang, Xiao & Zhang, Chuanguo, 2014. "The impacts of global oil price shocks on China׳s fundamental industries," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 394-402.
    16. Cai, Yongxia & Beach, Robert H. & Zhang, Yuquan, 2014. "Exploring the Implications of Oil Prices for Global Biofuels, Food Security, and GHG Mitigation," 2014 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2014, Minneapolis, Minnesota 170589, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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    Keywords

    Oil price; Biofuels; Food supply;

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