COMPETITION FOR LAND RESOURCES RESULTING FROM BIOENERGY DEVELOPMENT: THEORETICAL APPROACH
It is well established that agriculture-based bioenergy development has direct and indirect effects in economic, social, and envi-ronmental fields. In social and economic fields, some effects emerge as a result of a close interaction between biofuel and agricultural product markets. Such interaction arises where agricultural products are used to satisfy both food and energy demands. Consequently, this interaction gives rise to competition for agricultural products, including land resources, between biofuel and food industries. Generally the levels of competition intensity depend on the availability of land resources, which essentially determines the potential volumes of agricultural production where other traditional measures for increasing production volumes are exhausted.
The article aims to reveal a theoretical approach towards competition for land resources resulting from bioenergy development and to formulate preconditions for minimizing this competition. The research methods include monographic method, analysis for comparison of different opinions, analysis and synthesis of scientific literature, generalization, modeling, and logical abstraction techniques.
In many cases, various bioenergy development studies and models make only a passing reference to the issue of land resources. This article reveals competition for land resources triggered by agriculture-based bioenergy development, the preconditions for its formation and possible ways of manifestation. It discusses the competition for land resources through land conversion and land real-location. Furthermore, it looks at the most common arguments to deny the competition for land resources, its scope and importance. These arguments are usually grounded on the possibilities of improving agricultural productivity and the use of additional or set-aside land that is marginal in terms of food/fiber production. Some bioenergy development scenarios consider waste generated in food/fiber production to be the main source for biofuels production.
One of the main outcomes of this article is a theoretical model of changes in the use of land resources under the conditions of in-tense bioenergy development, which focuses on the national level. This model displays the distribution of land resources in both pre-bioenergy and post-bioenergy environment. Following this model preconditions for minimizing competition for land resources are presented. Firstly there are discussed a view on exogenously restricted allocation of land resources, which is vital to preventing food shortages and food price shocks in the short term. On the other hand there are also presented a viewpoint that government regulation (various prohibitions) cannot bring about an appreciable effect in this land resource allocation area. However, the experience of vari-ous countries shows that subject to political regulation of the said competitive area coexistence of the production of biofuels and food is basically possible.
Keyword(s): bioenergy, biofuels, competition, land resources, land conversion, land reallocation, agricultural products, biomass
Ajanovic, A. (2010). Biofuels versus food production: Does biofuels production increase food prices? Energy, doi:10.1016/j.energy.2010.05.019.
Alcott, B. (2005). Jevons’ paradox. Ecological Economics 54, pp. 9– 21.
Bergsma, G., Kampman, B., Croezen, H., Sevenster, M. (2006). Biofuels and their global influence on land availa-bility for agriculture and nature. A first evaluation and proposal for further facts finding. Delft, CE.
Berndes, G., Hoogwijk, M., van der Broek, R. (2003). The contribution of biomass in the future global energy sup-ply: a review of 17 studies. Biomass & Bioenergy 25, pp. 1-28.
BRDB (Biomass Research and Development Board). (2009). Increasing Feedstock Production for Biofuels. Economic Drivers, Environmental Implications, and the Role of Research. Available at
Charlton, A., Eliasa, R., Fishb, S., Fowlera, P., Gal-lagherb, J. (2009). The biorefining opportunities in Wales: Understanding the scope for building a sustainable, biore-newable economy using plant biomass. Chemical Engi-neering Research and Design 87, pp. 1147–1161.
De Wit, M., Faaij, A. (2010). European biomass resource potential and costs. Biomass and Bioenergy 34, pp. 188-202.
Diamantidis, N.D., Koukios, E.G. (2000). Agricultural crops and residues as feedstocks for non-food products in Western Europe. Industrial Crops and Products 11, pp. 97–106.
Doran, M. (2009). Competition for Land, Fuel vs. Food. FIG Working Week 2009 Surveyors Key Role in Acceler-ated Development, Eilat, Israel, 3-8 May 2009.
European Commission. (2010a). Energy 2020. A strategy for competitive, sustainable and secure energy. Brussels, pp. 20.
European Commission. (2010b).The CAP towards 2020: Meeting the food, natural resource and territorial chal-lenge of the future. Brussels, pp. 14.
EEA (European Environment Agency). (2006). How much bioenergy can Europe produce without harming the environment? Copenhagen: EEA, pp. 67.
Evans, J. (1992). Plantation forestry in the tropics. Ox-ford: Clarendon Press, Oxford University Press.
Ewing, M., Msangi, S. (2009). Biofuels production in de-veloping countries: assessing tradeoffs in welfare and food security. Environmental Science & Policy 12, pp. 520-528.
Fargione, J., Hill, J., Tilman, D., Polasky, S., Hawthorne, P. (2008). Land Clearing and the Biofuel Carbon Debt. Science, 5867, pp. 1235 – 1238.
FAO. (2009). The State of Agricultural Commodity Mar-kets 2009. Available at ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/012/i0854e/i0854e.pdf
Graham, R.L. (2007). Forecasting the magnitude of sustain-able biofeedstock supplies: the challenges and rewords. Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining 1, pp. 255-263.
Gutterson, N., Zhang, J. (2009). Important issues and cur-rent status of bioenergy crop policy for advanced biofuels. Biofuels, Bioproducts & Biorefining 3, pp. 441–447.
Ignaciuk, A., Vöhringer, F., Ruijs, A., van Ierland, E.C. (2006). Competition between biomass and food produc-tion in the presence of energy policies: a partial equilibri-um analysis. Energy Policy 34, pp.1127–1138.
Johnston, M., Holloway, T. (2007). A Global Comparison of National Biodiesel Production Potentials. Environmen-tal Science & Technology 23, pp. 7967-7973.
Keeney, R., Hertel, T. W. (2009). The indirect land use impacts of United States biofuel policies: the importance of acreage, yield, and bilateral trade responses. American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 4, pp. 895–909.
Klevas, V., Streimikiene, D. (2006). Lietuvos energetikos ekonomikos pagrindai: [monografija]. Kaunas: LEI.
Larson, E.D., Kartha, S. (2000). Expanding roles for modernized biomass energy. Energy for sustainable de-velopment 4, pp. 15–25.
Madlener, R., Myles, H. (2000). Modelling Socio-Economic Aspects of Bioenergy Systems: A survey pre-pared for IEA Bioenergy Task 29. IEA Bioenergy.
Prabhakar, S.V.R.K., Elder, M. (2009). Biofuels and re-source use efficiency in developing Asia: Back to basics. Applied Energy 86, pp. S30–S36.
Rajagopal, D. Sexton, S.E., Roland-Holst, D., Zilberman, D. (2007). Challenge of biofuel: filling the tank without emptying the stomach? Environmental Research Letters 2, pp. 1-9.
Rathmann, R., Szklo, A., Schaeffer, R. (2010). Land use competition for production of food and liquid biofuels: an analysis of the arguments in the current debate. Renewa-ble Energy 35, pp. 14–22.
Ravindranath, N.H., Sita Lakshmi, C., Manuvie, R., Bala-chandra, P. (2010). Biofuel production and implications for land use, food production and environment in India. Energy Policy, doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2010.07.044.
REN21. (2010). Renewables 2010 Global Status Report. Paris: REN21 Secretariat.
Ros, J.P.M. et al. (2010). Identifying the indirect effects of bio-energy production. Netherlands Environmental As-sessment Agency.
Rosegrant, A.W., Msangi, S., Sulser, T., Valmonte-Santos, R. (2006). Biofuels and the Global Food Balance. Bioenergy and Agriculture: Promises and Challenges. In-ternational Food Policy Research Institute.
RUBIRES (2010). Strategy Plan For Improvement Of Re-gional Land Use Management.
Available at http://www.central2013.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/Downloads/outputlib/Rubires_strategy_plan_uploaded.pdf
Schmidhuber, J. (2006). Impact of an increased biomass use on agricultural markets, prices and food security: A longer-term perspective. International symposium of Notre Europe, Paris.
Searchinger, T., Heimlich, R., Houghton, R. A., Dong, F., Elobeid, A., Fabiosa, J., Tokgoz, S., Hayes, D., Yu, T. (2008). Use of U.S. Croplands for biofuels increases greenhouse gases through emissions from land-use change. Science, 5867, pp. 1238 – 1240.
Sorrell, S. (2009). Jevons’ Paradox revisited: The evi-dence for backfire from improved energy efficiency. En-ergy Policy 37, pp. 1456–1469.
Straeten, K.V. (2007). What and Who is Self-Sufficient? Self-Sufficiency, Reciprocity and Self-Sustainability. Available at http://www.suite101.com/content/what-and-who-is-selfsufficient-a21367
Timilsina, G.R., Shrestha, A. (2010). How much hope should we have for biofuels?, Energy, doi:10.1016/j.energy.2010.08.023.
Wirsenius, S., Azar, Ch., Berndes, G. (2010). How much land is needed for global food production under scenarios of dietary changes and livestock productivity increases in 2030? Agricultural Systems 103, pp. 621–638.
Walsh, M.E. (1998). U.S. Bioenergy Crop Economic Analyses: Status and Needs. Biomass and Bioenergy 4, pp. 341–350
Walsh, M.E. (2008). Method to estimate bioenergy crop feedstock supply curves. Biomass and Bioenergy 18, pp. 283-289.
- There are currently no refbacks.
Economics and Rural Development ISSN 1822-3346 / eISSN 2345-0347
This journal is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License. Responsible editors: Prof. Dr Vilija Alekneviciene, Dr Gunita Mazure.