Land use changes from EU biofuel use: a sensitivity analysis

A. Kavallari, E.M.W. Smeets, A.A. Tabeau

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9 Citations (Scopus)


This paper employs the general equilibrium model MAGNET to assess the effects of the European Commission’s proposals for the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) on land use changes in the European Union and worldwide. The focus of the paper is to evaluate the sensitivity of the land use changes to different assumptions on the blending mix between ethanol and biodiesel for meeting the 5 % blending target of first generation biofuels, on the intensification level of agricultural production and on the available agricultural land. The results suggest that net land use changes (LUC) in the EU due to the revised RED are limited and are more sensitive to the share of ethanol and biodiesel in meeting the blending target compared to different assumptions on the availability of land and of yields that can be achieved when substituting land with other production factors. LUC in the rest of the world stem from increased EU imports of feedstock and of biofuels. LUC is especially sensitive to the substitution between land and fertilizer in regions with extensive agricultural production systems. In regions trading vegetable oil and oilseeds with the EU, and in regions producing ethanol, LUC is influenced by the share of ethanol in the biofuel mix used in the EU.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-281
JournalOperational Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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