The current theme presents economic and policy analysis on advanced biofuels. Its aim is to explain the various costs and benefits associated with the expansion and commercialization of advanced biofuels and their co-products.
David Zilberman, Gal Hochman, Scott Kaplan, and Eunice Kim
We argue that biofuel policies in the United States and Brazil have been affected by macroeconomic considerations like balance of trade, government budget and, to a lesser extent, climate change. The oil sector aims to contain the expansion of first-generation biofuel while environmentalists are ambivalent and will only support second-generation biofuel.
The revised Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) is technology forcing to commercialize biofuel production. This article reviews rationale, current cellulosic biofuel supply cost and implicit CO2 reduction costs. The RFS may induce significant biofuel technology improvements, but it may be costly if not phased-in efficiently.
Wallace E. Tyner and Ryan Petter
Aviation may offer the brightest prospects for a cellulosic biofuel industry. This paper presents economic analysis of the corn stover to jet fuel pathway with fast pyrolysis technology. The focus is on the role of risk in inhibiting investment and policy options that might help attenuate private sector risk.
Ruiqing Miao and Madhu Khanna
Yield risks of growing miscanthus and switchgrass on cropland with moderate risk aversion result in a risk premium over the breakeven price under certainty of 8% and 16%, respectively, on average. Risk premiums and breakeven prices vary regionally and are substantially lower in the South and on marginal land.
Biomass fuels in the United States may present a viable alternative to fossil-based fuels and address mounting concerns regarding the environment, population growth, and increasing fuel prices. This paper discusses the economic opportunities and challenges facing biomass, and concludes that energy production is but one of several uses for biomass.