Indirect land use change for biofuels: Testing predictions and improving analytical methodologies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Current practices for estimating indirect land use change (iLUC) due to United States biofuel production rely on assumption-heavy, global economic modeling approaches. Prior iLUC studies have failed to compare their predictions to past global historical data. An empirical approach is used to detect evidence for iLUC that might be catalyzed by United States biofuel production through a " bottom-up" , data-driven, statistical approach. Results show that biofuel production in the United States from 2002 to 2007 is not significantly correlated with changes in croplands for corn (coarse grain) plus soybean in regions of the world which are corn (coarse grain) and soybean trading partners of the United States. The results may be interpreted in at least two different ways: 1) biofuel production in the United States through 2007 (the last date for which information is available) probably has not induced any indirect land use change, and 2) this empirical approach may not be sensitive enough to detect indirect land use change from the historical data. It seems clear that additional effort may be required to develop methodologies to observe indirect land use change from the historical data. Such efforts might reduce uncertainties in indirect land use change estimates or perhaps form the basis for better policies or standards for biofuels.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages3235-3240
Number of pages6
JournalBiomass and Bioenergy
Volume35
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011

Profile

Biofuels
biofuels
biofuel
Land use
land use change
prediction
methodology
Testing
testing
soybean
maize
soybeans
corn
uncertainty
economics
Economics
modeling

Keywords

  • Biofuel
  • Corn
  • Historical data
  • Indirect land use change
  • Renewable energy policy
  • Soybean

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Forestry
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Waste Management and Disposal

Cite this

Indirect land use change for biofuels : Testing predictions and improving analytical methodologies. / Kim, Seungdo; Dale, Bruce E.

In: Biomass and Bioenergy, Vol. 35, No. 7, 07.2011, p. 3235-3240.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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