Impact of bioenergy crops in a carbon dioxide constrained world: an application of the MiniCAM energy-agriculture and land use model

  • Kenneth T. Gillingham
  • Steven J. Smith
  • Ronald D. Sands
Original Article

Abstract

In the coming century, modern bioenergy crops have the potential to play a crucial role in the global energy mix, especially under policies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as proposed by many in the international community. Previous studies have not fully addressed many of the dynamic interactions and effects of a policy-induced expansion of bioenergy crop production, particularly on crop yields and human food demand. This study combines an updated agriculture and land use (AgLU) model with a well-developed energy-economic model to provide an analysis of the effects of bioenergy crops on energy, agricultural and land use systems. The results indicate that carbon dioxide mitigation policies can stimulate a large production of bioenergy crops, dependent on the level of the policy. This production of bioenergy crops can lead to several impacts on the agriculture and land use system: decreases in forestland and unmanaged land, decreases in the average yield of food crops, increases in the prices of food crops, and decreases in the level of human demand of calories.

Keywords

Bioenergy Global energy scenarios Climate change Carbon dioxide Integrated assessment 

Notes

Acknowledgement

The authors would like to acknowledge Karen Fisher-Vanden of Dartmouth College and Hugh Pitcher of the Joint Global Change Research Institute (JGCRI) for helpful ideas at the germination stage of this paper. We would also like to thank Allison Thomson of JGCRI for reviewing this paper and providing additional comments.

References

  1. Azar C, Larson E (2000) Bioenergy and land-use competition in Northeast Brazil. Energy Sustainable Develop 4(3):51–58Google Scholar
  2. Berndes G, Azar C, Tomas K et al (2001) The feasibility of large-scale lignocellulose-based bioenergy production. Biomass Bioenergy 20:371–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berndes G, Hoogwijk M, van den Broek R (2003) The contribution of biomass in the future global energy supply: a review of 17 studies. Biomass Bioenergy 25:1–28CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brenkert A, Smith S, Pitcher H et al (2007) MiniCAM Documentation. available upon requestGoogle Scholar
  5. Carpentieri C, Larson E, Woods J (1993) Future biomass-based electricity supply in Northeast Brazil. Biomass Bioenergy 4(3):149–173CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Edmonds J, Reilly J (1985) Global energy: assessing the future. New York, Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  7. Edmonds J, Wise M, Sands R et al (1996) Agriculture, land use, and commercial biomass energy, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Report SA-27726, Richland, WAGoogle Scholar
  8. Edmonds J, Wise M, Pitcher H et al (1997) An integrated assessment of climate change and the accelerated introduction of advanced energy technologies: an application of MiniCAM 1.0. Mitig Adapt Strategies Glob Chang 1:311–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fischer G, Schrattenholzer L (2001) Global bioenergy potentials through 2050. Biomass Bioenergy 20(3):151–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations: 2001, FAOSTAT data base, http://apps.fao.org
  11. Frolking S, Xiao X, Zhuang Y et al (1999) Agricultural land-use in China: a comparison of area estimates from ground-based census and satellite-borne remote sensing. Glob Ecol Biogeogr 8(5):407–416CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Graham R (1994) An analysis of the potential land base for energy crops in the conterminous United States. Biomass Bioenergy 6:175–189CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Graham R, Allison L, Becker D (1996) ORECCL-Oak Ridge Energy Crop County Level Database. Proceedings of BIOENERGY ’96The Seventh National Bioenergy Conference: Partnerships to Develop and Apply Biomass Technologies, Nashville, TNGoogle Scholar
  14. Hall D, Scrase J (1998) Will biomass energy be the environmentally friendly fuel of the future? Biomass Bioenergy 15(4–5):357–367CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hall D, Rosillo-Calle F, Williams R et al (1993) Biomass for energy: Supply prospects. In: Johansson TBJ, Kelly H, Reddy AKN, Williams R (Eds) Renewable energy: sources for fuel and electricity, Washington, DC, Island PressGoogle Scholar
  16. Hanegraff M, Biewinga E, Van der Bijl G (1998) Assessing the ecological and economic sustainability of energy crops. Biomass Bioenergy 15(4–5):345–355CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hansen E (1991) Poplar woody biomass yields: a look into the future. Biomass Bioenergy 1:1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Heilig G (1999) ChinaFood. Can China feed itself?, CD-ROM Vers. 1.1. Laxenburg, Austria, International Institute for Applied Systems AnalysisGoogle Scholar
  19. Kaya Y (1989) Impact of Carbon Dioxide Emissions on GNP growth: Interpretation of Proposed Scenarios, Geneva, Switzerland, IPCC/Response Strategies Working Group, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate ChangeGoogle Scholar
  20. Kheshgi H, Prince R, Marland G (2000) The potential of biomass fuels in the context of global climate change: Focus on transportation fuels. Ann Rev Energy Environ 25:199–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lundborg A (1998) A sustainable forest fuel system in Sweden. Biomass Bioenergy 15(4–5):399–406CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Nakicenovic N, Swart R (eds.) (2000) Special report on emissions scenarios. Cambridge, United Kingdom, Cambridge University PressGoogle Scholar
  23. Pinstrup-Anderson P, Pandhya-Lorch R, Rosengrant M (1999) World food prospects: critical issues for the early 21st Century. Washington, DC, International Food Policy Research InstituteGoogle Scholar
  24. Raneses A, Hanson K, Shapouri H (1998) Economic impacts from shifting cropland use from food to fuel. Biomass Bioenergy 15(6):417–422CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rao P, Shastry G (1986) Changes in diet and nutrition profile in ten states in India, Hyderabad, India, Nutrition News, National Institute of Nutrition, 7(2)Google Scholar
  26. Rogner H (1997) An assessment of world hydrocarbon resources. Ann Rev Energy Environ 22:217–262CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sands R, Edmonds J (2005) Climate change impacts for the conterminous USA: an integrated assessment, paper 7: economic analysis of field crops and land use with climate change. Clim Change 69(1):127–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sands R, Leimbach M (2003) Modeling agriculture and land use in an integrated assessment framework. Clim Change 56(1):185–210CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Seto K, Kaufmann R, Woodcock C (2000) Landsat reveals China’s farmland reserves, but they’re vanishing fast. Nature 406(6792):121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Smith S, Pitcher H, Wigley T (2005) Future sulfur dioxide emissions. Clim Change 73(3):267–318CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Wigley T, Richels R, Edmonds J (1996) Economic and environmental choices in the stabilization of atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Nature 379(6562):240–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Yamamoto H, Yamaji K, Fujino J (1999) Evaluation of bioenergy resources with a global land use and energy model formulated with SD technique. Biomass Bioenergy 63(2):101–113Google Scholar
  33. Yamamoto H, Yamaji K, Fujino J (2000) Scenario analysis of bioenergy resources and CO2 emissions with a global land use and energy model. Biomass Bioenergy 66(4):325–337Google Scholar
  34. Yamamoto H, Yamaji K, Fujino J (2001) Evaluation of bioenergy potential with a multi-regional global-land-use-and-energy-model. Biomass Bioenergy 21(3):185–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth T. Gillingham
    • 1
    • 2
  • Steven J. Smith
    • 1
  • Ronald D. Sands
    • 1
  1. 1.Joint Global Change Research InstituteCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Management Science and EngineeringStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

Personalised recommendations