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Value Chain Structures that Define European Cellulosic Ethanol Production

Author

Listed:
  • Jay Sterling Gregg

    () (Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark)

  • Simon Bolwig

    () (Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark)

  • Teis Hansen

    () (Department of Human Geography, Lund University, 22362 Lund, Sweden
    NIFU Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education, 0653 Oslo, Norway)

  • Ola Solér

    () (Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark)

  • Sara Ben Amer-Allam

    () (Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark)

  • Júlia Pladevall Viladecans

    () (Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), 2800 Kongens Lyngby, Denmark)

  • Antje Klitkou

    () (NIFU Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education, 0653 Oslo, Norway)

  • Arne Fevolden

    () (NIFU Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education, 0653 Oslo, Norway)

Abstract

Production of cellulosic ethanol (CE) has not yet reached the scale envisaged by the literature and industry. This study explores CE production in Europe to improve understanding of the motivations and barriers associated with this situation. To do this, we conduct a case study-based analysis of CE production plants across Europe from a global value chain (GVC) perspective. We find that most CE production plants in the EU focus largely on intellectual property and are therefore only at the pilot or demonstration scale. Crescentino, the largest CE production facility in Europe, is also more interested in technology licensing than producing ethanol. Demonstration-scale plants tend to have a larger variety of feedstocks, whereas forestry-based plants have more diversity of outputs. As scale increases, the diversity of feedstocks and outputs diminishes, and firms struggle with feedstock provisioning, global petroleum markets and higher financial risks. We argue that, to increase CE production, policies should consider value chains, promote the wider bio-economy of products and focus on economies of scope. Whereas the EU and its member states have ethanol quotas and blending targets, a more effective policy would be to seek to reduce the risks involved in financing capital projects, secure feedstock provisioning and support a diversity of end products.

Suggested Citation

  • Jay Sterling Gregg & Simon Bolwig & Teis Hansen & Ola Solér & Sara Ben Amer-Allam & Júlia Pladevall Viladecans & Antje Klitkou & Arne Fevolden, 2017. "Value Chain Structures that Define European Cellulosic Ethanol Production," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(1), pages 1-17, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:1:p:118-:d:87849
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ajanovic, Amela, 2011. "Biofuels versus food production: Does biofuels production increase food prices?," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 2070-2076.
    2. Lone Riisgaard & Simon Bolwig & Stefano Ponte & Andries du Toit & Niels Halberg & Frank Matose, 2010. "Integrating Poverty and Environmental Concerns into Value-Chain Analysis: A Strategic Framework and Practical Guide," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 28(2), pages 195-216, March.
    3. Stefano Ponte, 2014. "The Evolutionary Dynamics of Biofuel Value Chains: From Unipolar and Government-Driven to Multipolar Governance," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 46(2), pages 353-372, February.
    4. Dautzenberg, Kirsti & Hanf, Jon, 2008. "Biofuel chain development in Germany: Organisation, opportunities, and challenges," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 485-489, January.
    5. Simon Bolwig & Stefano Ponte & Andries du Toit & Lone Riisgaard & Niels Halberg, 2010. "Integrating Poverty and Environmental Concerns into Value-Chain Analysis: A Conceptual Framework," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 28(2), pages 173-194, March.
    6. Ekman, Anna & Wallberg, Ola & Joelsson, Elisabeth & Börjesson, Pål, 2013. "Possibilities for sustainable biorefineries based on agricultural residues – A case study of potential straw-based ethanol production in Sweden," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 299-308.
    7. Stefano Ponte, 2014. "The evolutionary dynamics of biofuel value chains: from unipolar and government-driven to multipolar governance," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 46(2), pages 353-372, February.
    8. Anselm Eisentraut, 2010. "Sustainable Production of Second-Generation Biofuels: Potential and Perspectives in Major Economies and Developing Countries," IEA Energy Papers 2010/1, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jeners:v:12:y:2019:i:7:p:1194-:d:217608 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:11:y:2019:i:9:p:2558-:d:227993 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:5:p:1338-:d:143249 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    global value chain; biorefinery; cellulosic ethanol; bioenergy;

    JEL classification:

    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Q0 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q3 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q56 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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