IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Promoting Second Generation Biofuels: Does the First Generation Pave the Road?

  • Eggert, Håkan
  • Greaker, Mads

The transport sector contributes almost a fifth of the current global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG), and its share is likely to increase in the future. The US, Brazil, and a number of European and other countries worldwide have introduced various support schemes for biofuels. The advantage of biofuels is that they are easily integrated with the current fossil fuel–based transport sector. However, recent studies question whether the supply of feedstock is sufficient, and to what extent biofuels lead to GHG emission reductions. In addition, studies find that some first generation (1G) biofuels have had a significant impact on food commodity prices. 1G biofuels’ problems can be overcome by a transition to second generation (2G) biofuels. So far, 2G biofuels are much more costly to produce. We therefore ask to what extent targeted support to 2G biofuels is likely to bring costs down. Are current support schemes for biofuels well designed in order to promote the development of 2G biofuels? We find that ethanol made from cellulose using the biochemical conversion process is far from a ripe technology, with several cost-reducing opportunities yet to be developed. Hence, targeted support to cellulosic ethanol might induce a switch from 1G to 2G biofuels. However, we find little evidence that production and use of 1G biofuels will bridge the conversion to 2G biofuels. The production processes are so different that more use of 1G biofuels will have little impact on technological development in 2G biofuels. Hence, to the extent that private investment in the development of 2G biofuels is too low,current support schemes for 1G fuels may block 2G biofuels instead of promoting them. Classification-JEL: separated by commas

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.rff.org/RFF/documents/EfD-DP-13-18.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-13-18-efd.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 27 Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-13-18-efd
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.rff.org

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Bronwyn H. Hall, 2002. "The Financing of Research and Development," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 35-51, Spring.
  2. Hochman Gal & Sexton Steven E & Zilberman David D, 2008. "The Economics of Biofuel Policy and Biotechnology," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-24, December.
  3. Moreira, Jose R. & Pacca, Sergio A. & Parente, Virginia, 2014. "The future of oil and bioethanol in Brazil," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 7-15.
  4. Searchinger, Timothy & Heimlich, Ralph & Houghton, R. A. & Dong, Fengxia & Elobeid, Amani & Fabiosa, Jacinto F. & Tokgoz, Simla & Hayes, Dermot J. & Yu, Hun-Hsiang, 2008. "Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land-Use Change," Staff General Research Papers 12881, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Dasgupta, Partha & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1985. "Learning-by-doing, Market Structure and Industrial and Trade Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 80, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Coyle, William T., 2010. "Next-Generation Biofuels: Near-Term Challenges and Implications for Agriculture," Amber Waves, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, June.
  7. Fischer, Carolyn & Newell, Richard, 2004. "Environmental and Technology Policies for Climate Mitigation," Discussion Papers dp-04-05, Resources For the Future.
  8. Rajagopal, Deepak & Zilberman, David, 2007. "Review of environmental, economic and policy aspects of biofuels," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4341, The World Bank.
  9. Bushnell, James & Peterman, Carla & Wolfram, Catherine, 2008. "Local Solutions to Global Problems: Climate Change Policies and Regulatory Jurisdiction," Staff General Research Papers 13125, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. Drew Fudenberg & Jean Tirole, 1983. "Learning-by-Doing and Market Performance," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 522-530, Autumn.
  11. Rajcaniova, Miroslava & Drabik, Dusan & Ciaian, Pavel, 2013. "How policies affect international biofuel price linkages," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 857-865.
  12. A. M. Spence, 1981. "The Learning Curve and Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(1), pages 49-70, Spring.
  13. Carriquiry, Miguel A. & Du, Xiaodong & Timilsina, Govinda R, 2010. "Second-generation biofuels : economics and policies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5406, The World Bank.
  14. Harry de Gorter & David R. Just, 2010. "The Social Costs and Benefits of Biofuels: The Intersection of Environmental, Energy and Agricultural Policy," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 32(1), pages 4-32.
  15. Horn, Henrik & Mavroidis, Petros C., 2009. "Burden of Proof in Environmental Disputes in the WTO: Legal Aspects," Working Paper Series 793, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  16. Rajagopal, Deepak & Zilberman, David, 2008. "Environmental, Economic and Policy Aspects of Biofuels," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 4(5), pages 353-468, October.
  17. Drabik, Dusan, 2011. "The Theory of Biofuel Policy and Food Grain Prices," Working Papers 126615, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  18. Deepak Rajagopal & Steve Sexton & Gal Hochman & David Zilberman, 2009. "Recent Developments in Renewable Technologies: R&D Investment in Advanced Biofuels," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 621-644, 09.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-13-18-efd. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Webmaster)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.