Growth in Biofuels Markets: Long Term Environmental and Socioeconomic Impacts (Final Report)

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Over the last several years increasing energy and petroleum prices have propelled biofuels and the feedstocks used to produce them, to the forefront of alternative energy production. This growth has increased the linkages between energy and agricultural markets and these changes around the world are having a significant effect on agricultural markets as biofuels begin to play a more substantial role in meeting the world's energy needs. Biofuels are alternatively seen as a means to reduce carbon emissions, increase energy independence, support rural development and to raise farm income. However, concern has arisen that the new demand for traditional commodities ... continued below

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11 pages

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Meyer, Seth D. & Kalaitzandonakes, Nicholas December 2, 2010.

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Over the last several years increasing energy and petroleum prices have propelled biofuels and the feedstocks used to produce them, to the forefront of alternative energy production. This growth has increased the linkages between energy and agricultural markets and these changes around the world are having a significant effect on agricultural markets as biofuels begin to play a more substantial role in meeting the world's energy needs. Biofuels are alternatively seen as a means to reduce carbon emissions, increase energy independence, support rural development and to raise farm income. However, concern has arisen that the new demand for traditional commodities or alternative commodities which compete for land can lead to higher food prices and the environmental effects from expanding crop acreage may result in uncertain changes in carbon emissions as land is converted both in the US and abroad. While a number of studies examine changes in land use and consumption from changes in biofuels policies many lack effective policy representation or complete coverage of land types which may be diverted in to energy feedstock production. Many of these biofuels and renewable energy induced land use changes are likely to occur in developing countries with at-risk consumers and on environmentally sensitive lands. Our research has improved the well known FAPRI-MU modeling system which represents US agricultural markets and policies in great detail and added a new model of land use and commodity markets for major commodity producers, consumers and trade dependent and food insecure countries as well as a rest of the world aggregate. The international modules include traditional annual crop lands and include perennial crop land, pasture land, forest land and other land uses from which land may be drawn in to biofuels or renewable energy feedstock production. Changes in calorie consumption in food insecure countries from changes in renewable energy policy can also be examined with a calorie module that was developed. The econometric model development provides an important tool to examine the indirect but important and potentially substantial secondary effects of the use of agricultural land as an input into renewable energy production including changes in greenhouse gas production and calorie consumption. With the expansion of biofuels support and consumption as well as proposals for similar support of biomass electricity the research and tools developed remain at the forefront of renewable energy policy analysis.

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11 pages

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  • Report No.: DOE/ER64504-FINAL
  • Grant Number: FG02-07ER64504
  • DOI: 10.2172/993643 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 993643
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1014305

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  • December 2, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Jan. 22, 2018, 5:34 p.m.

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Meyer, Seth D. & Kalaitzandonakes, Nicholas. Growth in Biofuels Markets: Long Term Environmental and Socioeconomic Impacts (Final Report), report, December 2, 2010; Columbia, Missouri. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1014305/: accessed December 11, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.