Spatial distribution of economic viability of regional biomass chains: a case study of bioethanol production in the North of the Netherlands

F. van der Hilst, V. Dornburg, A. Faaij, J.P.M. Sanders, H.W. Elbersen

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractAcademic

Abstract

The objective of this work is to assess the viability of regional biomass chains. The economic performance of potential bioenergy cropping systems is compared to the performance of current agricultural land use. Furthermore, bioethanol production costs are compared to average gasoline prices. Spatial heterogeneity of physical conditions is taken into account to determine the spatial variation in economic viability of bioenergy chains. The regional biomass chains assessed in this study are ethanol production from Miscanthus and from sugar beet in the North of the Netherlands. The competitiveness of bio energy crops is assessed by calculating the Net Present Value (NPV) of currently applied rotation schemes, rotation schemes including an additional share of sugar beet and of Miscanthus. Costs of ethanol production are calculated taking into account costs of domestically cultivated crops, transport and conversion. The NPV’s and cost of ethanol are calculated for seven categories of soil suitability. The spatial distribution of soil properties and current land use is used to map the spatial variation in competiveness and production costs using GIS (Geographical information System). Such a detailed spatial distribution of economic viability of bioenergy chains indicates were land use changes are most likely to occur. The results show that both perennial bioenergy crops as well as an increased share of sugar beet are not competitive with current cropping systems when soil is equally suitable. However, on soils less suitable for annual crops yet quite suitable for less intensive managed crops, Miscanthus achieves a better NPV than common rotations. The method applied in this paper contributes to the identification of promising locations for bioenergy crops and could be applied to several regions and/or levels of analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event15th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference, Utrecht, Netherlands -
Duration: 5 Jul 20098 Jul 2009

Conference

Conference15th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference, Utrecht, Netherlands
Period5/07/098/07/09

Keywords

  • land use
  • fuel crops
  • sugarbeet
  • miscanthus
  • economic viability
  • spatial distribution
  • regional surveys
  • bioethanol

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    van der Hilst, F., Dornburg, V., Faaij, A., Sanders, J. P. M., & Elbersen, H. W. (2009). Spatial distribution of economic viability of regional biomass chains: a case study of bioethanol production in the North of the Netherlands. Abstract from 15th Annual International Sustainable Development Research Conference, Utrecht, Netherlands, . https://edepot.wur.nl/160234