Energy efficiency measurement in agriculture with imprecise energy content information
Energy efficiency measurement is crucial when planning energy reduction policies. However, decision makers understandably are reluctant to act in the absence of solid data and results supporting a policy position. The main objective of this paper is to propose an alternative method to measure farm energy efficiency. This method is based on the Data Envelopment Analysis (DEA) approach in a cost framework introduced by Farrell (1957) and developed by Färe et al. (1985). We decompose energy efficiency measurement into two components, namely technical and allocative efficiencies. Here, input prices are replaced by their energy content. The energy efficiency model is used to explore the optimal input-mix that produces the current outputs at minimum energy-consumption. We show that this decomposition can help policy makers considerably to design accurate energy policies. The presence of uncertainty on data, and more particularly on energy content of inputs, leads us to recommend exploiting the methodologies proposed for calculating the bounds of efficiency measurement in order to produce more robust results. We expect to alert policy-makers in the fact that efficiency is not a fixed value and should be considered with caution. A 2007 database of French farms specialized in crops is used for empirical illustration.
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