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Book part
Publication date: 24 September 2010

Alla Golub, Thomas W. Hertel, Farzad Taheripour and Wallace E. Tyner

Over the past decade, biofuels production in the European Union and the United States has boomed – much of this due to government mandates and subsidies. The United States…

Abstract

Over the past decade, biofuels production in the European Union and the United States has boomed – much of this due to government mandates and subsidies. The United States has now surpassed Brazil as the world's leading producer of ethanol. The economic and environmental impact of these biofuel programs has become an important question of public policy. Due to the complex intersectoral linkages between biofuels and crops, livestock as well as energy activities, CGE modeling has become an important tool for their analysis. This chapter reviews recent developments in this area of economic analysis and suggests directions for future research.

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New Developments in Computable General Equilibrium Analysis for Trade Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-142-9

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2011

Steven E. Sexton and David Zilberman

Purpose – To identify how agricultural biotechnology addresses the two challenges facing agriculture: to feed a world growing to 9 billion people by 2050 and to provide a…

Abstract

Purpose – To identify how agricultural biotechnology addresses the two challenges facing agriculture: to feed a world growing to 9 billion people by 2050 and to provide a liquid fuel alternative to petroleum.

Design –This chapter relies on econometric modeling, a review of existing literature, and diagrammatic modeling to articulate the impact of agricultural biotechnology on food and energy markets.

Findings –Agricultural biotechnology reduces the tension between food security and biofuel production. It reduces volatility in food and fuel markets and can mitigate risk to biofuel processors.

Originality – The analysis is original although it relies on previous research to some extent. The analysis is compared to and contrasted with related work.

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Genetically Modified Food and Global Welfare
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-758-2

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Article
Publication date: 9 September 2013

Erik Trømborg, Torjus F. Bolkesjø and Birger Solberg

Second-generation biofuel is regarded as a sustainable alternatives to fossil energy in transportation where electricity is not feasible. The main purpose of this study is…

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Abstract

Purpose

Second-generation biofuel is regarded as a sustainable alternatives to fossil energy in transportation where electricity is not feasible. The main purpose of this study is to analyze how large-scale second-generation biofuel based on wood may affect the competitiveness of more mature bioenergy technologies such as bioheat through competition in the biomass market. The impacts on forest industries are also included.

Design/methodology/approach

An economic model for the energy and forest sectors based on partial equilibrium modeling is used to quantify the impacts of four different locations of biofuel production in Norway.

Findings

The results show that there are regional variations in biomass price effects depending on local raw material availability and costs of transport and import. Technologies allowing for a larger variety of wood biomass qualities will face lower biomass prices than technologies using only one species as raw material, causing less reduction in the production of bioheat and forest industrial products. For Norway specifically, the paper concludes that even if there is a potential for both increased bioheat generation and large-scale biofuel production, the production of second-generation biofuels based on domestic wood resources will cause a 5-20 percent reduction in bioheat generation depending on the scale of biofuel production.

Research limitations/implications

This study demonstrates how impacts on biomass markets from establishment of biofuel production vary quite substantially with location, production level and choice of feedstock. One main finding is the quite large biomass cost impact that is seen in the model runs when introducing large-scale biofuel production. Increased biomass costs reduce the profitability and this must be taken into account when establishing a biofuel installation.

Originality/value

The originality of the paper is the analyses of biofuel impacts with a detailed model for biomass supply as the bioenergy and forest sectors.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2012

Renée Telkamp

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the biofuels debate in air transport.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the biofuels debate in air transport.

Design/methodology/approach

The controversies about biofuels sustainability in general and research findings on biofuels are complemented by the specific circumstances the aviation industry encounters in its attempt to become more sustainable. The author's corporate affiliation allows for insights from an airline's perspective and experience with biojet fuel.

Findings

The paper highlights accountability and accounting advances required by the aviation industry as well as further stakeholders to safeguard sustainability of biofuels.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides a viewpoint taking account of research findings but written from a corporate perspective. The intention is not to provide a complete review of the growing academic literature in the biofuels field, nor to elaborate on the entire array of challenges in practice.

Originality/value

The paper integrates macro‐level societal limitations for sustainable biofuel feedstock production with micro and meso‐level corporate and industry perspectives on sustainable biofuels.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2007

Stephanie Switzer

Discussions on the appropriate international regime to govern trade in biofuels are in their infancy. However, a large number of countries have set minimum blending…

Abstract

Discussions on the appropriate international regime to govern trade in biofuels are in their infancy. However, a large number of countries have set minimum blending targets for biofuels. Meeting these targets will require greater production and increased international trade in biofuels. Concerns exist as to whether unsustainable practices will be used to satisfy this growing demand. There is currently no multilateral agreement governing sustainable production and trade in biofuels. In the absence of an international framework, this paper will seek to demonstrate that concerned countries may unilaterally regulate imports of unsustainably produced biofuels in a way that is consistent with international trade rules. Unilateral regulation is to be understood as a stop gap until multilateral agreement can be reached on the interaction between trade in biofuels and issues of sustainability.

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Journal of International Trade Law and Policy, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-0024

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Article
Publication date: 7 November 2016

Alan J. Gilmer, Mark J. McGarrity and Vivienne Byers

The purpose of this paper is to determine the status of policy design and policy implementation in the biofuel sector in Ireland. The focus of the work addresses the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine the status of policy design and policy implementation in the biofuel sector in Ireland. The focus of the work addresses the overarching operational context of the biofuel sector in Ireland and the role of different actors in shaping and resolving inconsistencies in policy outlook and practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a qualitative research approach involving a series of semi-structured interviews with members of the relevant sub-groups concerned. This study sought to address two questions – whether current or proposed policy is likely to affect consumption of indigenous biofuel feedstocks in the biofuel sector and what are the controlling factors in the demand for indigenous feedstocks for biofuel.

Findings

Outcomes suggest that while Irish government policy recognises the need to support the development of renewable energy, it also operates under a number of parallel and potentially inconsistent paradigms in relation to biofuels as a renewable energy commodity. It is contended that the outcome of this position is a lack of coherent and coordinated policy in the area of biofuel production, including second generation biofuel using indigenous feedstocks.

Originality/value

This paper provides a new cross sectoral perspective on the status of biofuel policy in Ireland with particular reference to second generation biofuel feedstocks. It focuses analysis on the nature of policy-operational inconsistencies and the need for a deeper ecological perspective in governance.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2010

Tarja Ketola and Tiina Salmi

The aim of this research is to conduct a holistic sustainability life cycle assessment (LCA) comparison of different kinds of biofuels, integrating environmental, social…

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this research is to conduct a holistic sustainability life cycle assessment (LCA) comparison of different kinds of biofuels, integrating environmental, social, cultural and economic sustainability. The feasibility of a vision that by year 2015 households, companies, and other organizations all over the world will turn their sewages into biofuels, instead of discharging them into the environment is tested through these comparisons.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi‐structured interviews of biofuels' experts in Finnish companies, industry organizations, research institutions, and non‐governmental organization were conducted.

Findings

Biogases are environmentally more sustainable than bio‐oils, field biomass, wood‐based biomass and peat, all of which cause loss of biodiversity. Bio‐oils and field biomass are socio‐culturally unsustainable when they affect farming for food. Launching any kind of biofuel system is expensive, but running it reaps benefits. Biogases, bio‐oils and liquid field biomass use the cradle‐to‐grave approach; solid field biomass, wood‐based biomass and peat use the cradle‐to‐cradle approach in their life cycles. Biogases made of sewage have an endless supply with little need for an endless life cycle, which, however, could also be developed.

Practical implications

Refining sewage into biofuels solves two global environmental problems at once: carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels contributing to climate change and over‐fertilization of waterways causing sea, lake and river deaths. Hence, the launching expenses are well worth the effort. Yet other biofuels compete so heavily that large‐scale global turning of sewage into biofuels by 2015 is unlikely.

Originality/value

This is the first holistic sustainability LCA comparison of biofuels which integrates environmental, socio‐cultural and economic sustainability views of industry, research and civil society experts.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Article
Publication date: 8 November 2011

Joni Jupesta, Yuko Harayama and Govindan Parayil

This study aims to focus on the design of a sustainable business model on the development of a biofuel industry in Indonesia.

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to focus on the design of a sustainable business model on the development of a biofuel industry in Indonesia.

Design/methodology/approach

The changed status from a net oil exporter to net importer in 2004, the highly subsidized price of fossil fuel, the depleting oil resources and a strong dependency on oil for domestic production are the driving forces for introducing biofuel in Indonesia. The Indonesian government enacted an energy policy in 2006 which aims to partially shift fossil fuel consumption to renewable energy sources including biofuel. The mandatory requirement to use biofuel and the given subsidies will help to make biofuel competitive. However, till now, biofuel still has not achieved the aimed target for several reasons, e.g. higher cost of production relative to fossil fuel, distribution barriers due to geographical constraints, reluctance from industry due to uncertain markets and relative low participation from local government. This paper develops strategic analysis based on the diffusion process of biofuel development.

Findings

The tools applied are a SWOT analysis, Porter 5 Force analysis, and Business Portfolio analysis to understand the position of the biofuel industry.

Originality/value

This study provides an innovative business model to accelerate the integration of biofuel into the Indonesian energy markets and create profitable and sustainable business.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2012

Stefan Walter

The purpose of this paper is to offer a critique of government intervention in the production of biofuel in northern Sweden and Finland, highlighting some of the welfare…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer a critique of government intervention in the production of biofuel in northern Sweden and Finland, highlighting some of the welfare consequences.

Design/methodology/approach

After a short review of government interventions, including laws, taxes and subsidies, Austrian economic principles are applied, which lead to universal statements about the impacts of government intervention.

Findings

Government intervention on behalf of the biofuel production industry leads to the emergence of an investment bubble, with consequential negative impacts on welfare.

Practical implications

The paper informs about the true costs of intervention in biofuel production, which suggests that policy makers may abstain from justifying interventions for the sake of increasing people's welfare.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the research of the production impacts of a new energy technology in the form of biofuel in particular and of governmental intervention in production in general. The paper, furthermore, enhances the use of the method and theory of the Austrian school of economic science.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2013

Edson Talamini, Emiel F.M. Wubben, Antônio Domingos Padula and Homero Dewes

Macro‐environmental scanning is a first step in strategic planning, which is essential in an emerging industry such as liquid biofuels. The purpose of this paper is to…

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Abstract

Purpose

Macro‐environmental scanning is a first step in strategic planning, which is essential in an emerging industry such as liquid biofuels. The purpose of this paper is to identify the dimensions within which the governments of Brazil, the USA and Germany have constructed the macro‐environment for liquid biofuels over time and to test for similarities between the governments’ constructs.

Design/methodology/approach

Documentary research was carried out on official public policies and program documents on the topic of liquid biofuels, covering a ten‐year period from 1997 to 2006. The database consisted of 624 documents from the Brazilian government, 854 from the American government and 168 documents from the German government. Text mining was used to extract information from the texts by applying a specific analysis structure that was built on macro‐environmental dimensions as expressed by their respective dimensional words “d‐words”. The “d‐words” were selected based on their usage frequency in the knowledge fields related to each dimension.

Findings

The results indicate that the macro‐environments for liquid biofuels, as configured by the governments under analysis, differ systematically and over time in their emphasis of specific macro‐environmental dimensions.

Originality/value

There are two primary aspects of this study which are original and valuable: the application of text‐mining techniques as a tool for strategic planning and the development of a particular tool to extract knowledge from text documents and to categorize them according to their macro‐environmental dimensions.

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