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Modelling regional input markets with numerous processing plants: The case of green maize for biogas production in Germany

Listed author(s):
  • Delzeit, Ruth
  • Britz, Wolfgang
  • Holm-Müller, Karin

The location of first generation processing plants for biogas using bulky inputs is a prominent example of locational decisions of plants that face high per unit transport costs of feedstock and simultaneously depend to a large extent on feedstock availability. Modelling the resulting regional feedstock markets then requires a spatially explicit representation of demand. With production capacities of plants small in comparison to market size, large numbers of possible type-location combinations need to be considered, requiring considerable computation time under existing integer programming-based approaches. Therefore, in this paper we aim to present an alternative, faster and more flexible iterative solution approach to simulate location decisions for processing plants. And with greater flexibility, this approach is able to take into account spatially heterogeneous transport costs depending on total demand. The approach is implemented in a modelling framework for biogas production from green maize in Germany, which currently accounts for ca. five percent of Germany's agricultural area. By modifying green maize prices, demand functions are derived and intersected with regional supply functions from an agricultural model to simulate market clearing prices and quantities. The application illustrates that our approach efficiently simulates markets characterised by small-scale demand units and high, spatially heterogeneous transport costs.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/162892
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Paper provided by University of Bonn, Institute for Food and Resource Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 162892.

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Date of creation: 07 Jan 2011
Handle: RePEc:ags:ubfred:162892
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.ilr1.uni-bonn.de/

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  1. Klose, Andreas & Drexl, Andreas, 2005. "Facility location models for distribution system design," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 162(1), pages 4-29, April.
  2. Hertel, Thomas W. & Tyner, Wallace E. & Birur, Dileep K., 2008. "Biofuels for all? Understanding the Global Impacts of Multinational Mandates," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6526, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  3. Leduc, S. & Lundgren, J. & Franklin, O. & Dotzauer, E., 2010. "Location of a biomass based methanol production plant: A dynamic problem in northern Sweden," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 68-75, January.
  4. Boysen, Ole & Schroeder, Carsten, 2006. "Economies of Scale in der Produktion versus Diseconomies im Transport: Zum Strukturwandel im Molkereisektor," German Journal of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, vol. 55(3).
  5. Martin Banse & Hans van Meijl & Andrzej Tabeau & Geert Woltjer, 2008. "Will EU biofuel policies affect global agricultural markets?," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 35(2), pages 117-141, June.
  6. Melkote, Sanjay & Daskin, Mark S., 2001. "Capacitated facility location/network design problems," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 129(3), pages 481-495, March.
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