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Energy and Greenhouse Gas Impacts of Biofuels: A Framework for Analysis

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  • Kammen, Daniel M.
  • Farrell, Alexander E
  • Plevin, Richard J
  • Jones, Andrew
  • Nemet, Gregory F
  • Delucchi, Mark

Abstract

In this paper, we review some of the basic energy balance and climate change impact issues associated with biofuels. For both the basic energy and greenhouse gas balances of producing and using a range of fuels, and for the increasingly debated and important issues of nongreenhouse gas impacts such as land, fertilizer, and water use, we conclude that an improved framework for the analysis and evaluation of biofuels is needed. These new methodologies and data sets are needed on both physical and socioeconomic aspects of the life-cycle of biofuels. We detail some of components that could be used to build this methodology and highlight key areas for future research. We look at the history and potential impacts of building the resource base for biofuel research, as well as at some of the land-use and socioeconomic impacts of different feedstock-to-fuel pathways.

Suggested Citation

  • Kammen, Daniel M. & Farrell, Alexander E & Plevin, Richard J & Jones, Andrew & Nemet, Gregory F & Delucchi, Mark, 2008. "Energy and Greenhouse Gas Impacts of Biofuels: A Framework for Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt5qw5g6q2, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:itsdav:qt5qw5g6q2
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sperling, Daniel & Farrell, Alexander, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 2: Policy Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt5hv693r2, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    2. Nemet, Gregory F. & Kammen, Daniel M., 2007. "U.S. energy research and development: Declining investment, increasing need, and the feasibility of expansion," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 746-755, January.
    3. Farrell, Alexander E. & Sperling, Dan, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 2: Policy Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt8ng2h3x7, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    4. Farrell, Alexander E. & Sperling, Dan, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 1: Technical Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt6j67z9w6, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    5. Farrell, Alexander E. & Sperling, Daniel & Brandt, A.R. & Eggert, A. & Farrell, A.E. & Haya, B.K. & Hughes, J. & Jenkins, B.M. & Jones, A.D. & Kammen, D.M. & Knittel, C.R. & Melaina, M.W. & O'Hare, M., 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California Part 2: Policy Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt1hm6k089, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    6. Farrell, Alexander & Sperling, Daniel, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 2: Policy Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt8xv635dc, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    7. Delucchi, Mark, 2004. "Conceptual and Methodological Issues in Lifecycle Analyses of Transportation Fuels," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt8n77n6z7, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    8. Farrell, Alexander E. & Sperling, Daniel & Arons, S.M. & Brandt, A.R. & Delucchi, M.A. & Eggert, A. & Farrell, A.E. & Haya, B.K. & Hughes, J. & Jenkins, B.M. & Jones, A.D. & Kammen, D.M. & Kaffka, S.R, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California Part 1: Technical Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt8zm8d3wj, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    9. Farrell, Alexander & Sperling, Daniel, 2007. "A Low-Carbon Fuel Standard for California, Part 1: Technical Analysis," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt5245b5kx, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
    10. Turner, Brian T. & Plevin, Richard J. & O'Hare, Michael & Farrell, Alexander E., 2007. "Creating Markets for Green Biofuels: Measuring and improving environmental performance," Institute of Transportation Studies, Research Reports, Working Papers, Proceedings qt0mm0m9xm, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley.
    11. Marland, Gregg & Schlamadinger, Bernhard, 1995. "Biomass fuels and forest-management strategies: How do we calculate the greenhouse-gas emissions benefits?," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 20(11), pages 1131-1140.
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    Cited by:

    1. Franz Nauschnigg, 2009. "Preiseffekte der Agrartreibstoffproduktion," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 35(2), pages 265-282.
    2. Piroli, Giuseppe & Rajcaniova, Miroslava & Ciaian, Pavel & Kancs, d׳Artis, 2015. "From a rise in B to a fall in C? SVAR analysis of environmental impact of biofuels," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 921-930.
    3. Sunde, K. & Brekke, A. & Solberg, B., 2011. "Environmental impacts and costs of woody Biomass-to-Liquid (BTL) production and use -- A review," Forest Policy and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(8), pages 591-602, October.
    4. Harvey, Mark & Pilgrim, Sarah, 2011. "The new competition for land: Food, energy, and climate change," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(S1), pages 40-51.
    5. Tokunaga, Kanae & Konan, Denise Eby, 2014. "Home grown or imported? Biofuels life cycle GHG emissions in electricity generation and transportation," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 123-131.

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