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Biomass Electric Power Plants: Land Use Impacts For Forestry And Agriculture


  • Rose, Dietmar W.
  • Husain, Syed A.


Sharply increasing timber prices in Minnesota reflect an imbalance in the ageclass distribution of the cover types that are most important to the forest industry. This paper examines the potential contributions that short-rotation forest crops grown on marginal agricultural lands can make in producing biomass for wood-base power plants and in supplying wood to the forest industry. A large-scale regional scheduling model was used to allocate forest and agricultural lands in order to minimize wood production costs for forest industry as well as power plant uses. Alternative potential sites for a wood-based power plant were examined in terms of wood production costs and of transportation implications. Preliminary recommendations as to the most appropriate agricultural lands and sites for power plants are made. The higher productivity of agricultural lands leads to reduced harvesting of forest lands. The associated indirect environmental benefits and the direct environmental benefits from putting agricultural lands under tree cover are the subject of additional research.

Suggested Citation

  • Rose, Dietmar W. & Husain, Syed A., 1998. "Biomass Electric Power Plants: Land Use Impacts For Forestry And Agriculture," Conference Papers 14490, University of Minnesota, Center for International Food and Agricultural Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:umcicp:14490

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Perret, Sylvain R., 2002. "Water Policies And Smallholding Irrigation Schemes In South Africa: A History And New Institutional Challenges," Working Papers 18041, University of Pretoria, Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development.
    2. Rosegrant, Mark W. & Perez, Nicostrato D., 1997. "Water resources development in Africa: a review and synthesis of issues, potentials, and strategies for the future," EPTD discussion papers 28, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Dahlman, Carl J, 1979. "The Problem of Externality," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 141-162, April.
    4. Dinar, A. & Subramanian, A., 1997. "Water Pricing Experiences," Papers 386, World Bank - Technical Papers.
    5. K. William Easter, 2000. "Asia's Irrigation Management in Transition: A Paradigm Shift Faces High Transaction Costs," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 22(2), pages 370-388.
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