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An economic assessment of biogas production and land use under the German renewable energy source act

Author

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  • Delzeit, Ruth
  • Britz, Wolfgang
  • Kreins, Peter

Abstract

The Renewable Energy Source Act (EEG) promotes German biogas production in order to substitute fossil fuels, protect the environment, and prevent climate change. As a consequence, green maize production has increased significantly over the last years, causing negative environmental effects on soil, water and biodiversity. In this paper we quantitatively analyse the EEG-reform in 2012 by applying the simulation tool ReSI-M (Regionalised Location Information System - Maize). Comparing the EEG 2012 with a former version of the legislation, results imply that the reform contributes to an expansion of biogas electricity generation compared to former versions, and thus to substitution of fossil fuels. Furthermore, given a restriction in the share of green maize input, its production is reduced and the crop-mix is diversified. However, since maize provides the highest energy output per area, total land requirement for biogas production increases. An alternative analysis shows that an EEG with tariffs independent from plant-types would provide the highest subsidy-efficiency, but slightly lower land efficiency compared to the EEG 2012.

Suggested Citation

  • Delzeit, Ruth & Britz, Wolfgang & Kreins, Peter, 2012. "An economic assessment of biogas production and land use under the German renewable energy source act," Kiel Working Papers 1767 [rev.], Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkwp:1767r
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gomann, Horst & Kreins, Peter & Breuer, Thomas, 2007. "Deutschland – Energie-Corn-Belt Europas?," Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, vol. 56(5/6).
    2. Richard E. Howitt, 1995. "Positive Mathematical Programming," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 77(2), pages 329-342.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jacobsen, Brian H. & Laugesen, Frederik M. & Dubgaard, Alex, 2014. "The economics of biogas in Denmark: a farm and socioeconomic perspective," International Journal of Agricultural Management, Institute of Agricultural Management;International Farm Management Association, vol. 3(3), April.
    2. Britz, Wolfgang & Delzeit, Ruth, 2013. "The impact of German biogas production on European and global agricultural markets, land use and the environment," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 1268-1275.
    3. Oniszk-Popławska, Anna & Matyka, Mariusz & Ryńska, Elżbieta Dagny, 2014. "Evaluation of a long-term potential for the development of agricultural biogas plants: A case study for the Lubelskie Province, Poland," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 329-349.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    bioenergy; biogas; land use; policy analysis; simulation model;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q42 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Alternative Energy Sources

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