IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Indirect fuel use change (IFUC) and the lifecycle environmental impact of biofuel policies

  • Rajagopal, D.
  • Hochman, G.
  • Zilberman, D.

A common assumption in lifecycle assessment (LCA) based estimates of greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits (or costs) of renewable fuel such as biofuel is that it simply replaces an energy-equivalent amount of fossil fuel and that total fuel consumption remains unchanged. However, the adoption of renewable fuels will affect the price of fuel and therefore affect total fuel consumption which, may increase or decrease depending on the policy regime and market conditions. Using a representative two-region model of the global oil market in which, one region implements a domestic biofuel mandate and the other does not, we show that the net change in global fuel consumption due to the policy, which we term indirect fuel use change (IFUC), can have a significant impact on the net GHG emissions associated with biofuel. If LCA-based regulations are designed to account for indirect emissions such as indirect land use change, then we argue that IFUC emissions cannot be ignored. Our work also shows how different policies can affect the environmental impact from adopting a given clean technology differently.

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.

File URL:
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 under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 228-233

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:1:p:228-233
Contact details of provider: Web page:

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.:

as in new window
  1. Searchinger, Timothy & Heimlich, Ralph & Houghton, R. A. & Dong, Fengxia & Elobeid, Amani & Fabiosa, Jacinto F. & Tokgoz, Simla & Hayes, Dermot J. & Yu, Hun-Hsiang, 2008. "Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change," Staff General Research Papers 12881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Stephen P. Holland & Jonathan E. Hughes & Christopher R. Knittel, 2009. "Greenhouse Gas Reductions under Low Carbon Fuel Standards?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 106-46, February.
  3. Hertel, Thomas & Golub, Alla & Jones, Andrew & O'Hare, Michael & Plevin, Richard & Kammen, Daniel, 2009. "Global Land Use and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Impacts of U.S. Maize Ethanol: The Role of Market-Mediated Responses," GTAP Working Papers 3160, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  4. Krichene, Noureddine, 2002. "World crude oil and natural gas: a demand and supply model," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 557-576, November.
  5. Carolyn Fischer, 2010. "Renewable Portfolio Standards: When Do They Lower Energy Prices?," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 101-120.
  6. Daniel J. Graham & Stephen Glaister, 2002. "The Demand for Automobile Fuel: A Survey of Elasticities," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 36(1), pages 1-25, January.
  7. Delucchi, Mark, 2005. "Incorporating the Effect of Price Changes on CO2-Equivalent Emissions From Alternative-Fuel Lifecycles: Scoping the Issues," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt606506g7, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:39:y:2011:i:1:p:228-233. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.