Agricultural activities have dramatically altered our planet?s land surface. To understand the extent and spatial distribution of these changes, we have developed a new global data set of croplands and pastures circa 2000 by combining agricultural inventory data and satellite-derived land cover data. The agricultural inventory data, with much greater spatial detail than previously available, is used to train a land cover classification data set obtained by merging two different satellite-derived products (Boston University?s MODIS-derived land cover product and the GLC2000 data set).
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The Biomass Program is one of the nine technology development programs within the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This 2011 Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP) sets forth the goals and structure of the Biomass Program. It identifies the research, development, demonstration, and deployment (RDD&D) activities the Program will focus on over the next five years, and outlines why these activities are important to meeting the energy and sustainability challenges facing the nation.
Growing concern about climate change and energy security has led to increasing interest in developing renewable, domestic energy sources for meeting electricity, heating and fuel needs in the United States. Illinois has significant potential to produce bioenergy crops, including corn, soybeans, miscanthus (Miscanthus giganteus), and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). However, land requirements for bioenergy crops place them in competition with more traditional agricultural uses, in particular food production.
Land-use change models are important tools for integrated environmental management. Through scenario analysis they can help to identify near-future critical locations in the face of environmental change. A dynamic, spatially explicit, land-use change model is presented for the regional scale: CLUE-S. The model is specifically developed for the analysis of land use in small regions (e.g., a watershed or province) at a fine spatial resolution.
Estimates of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) are used extensively in transportation planning for allocating resources, estimating vehicle emissions, computing energy consumption, and assessing traffic impact. The estimates used in these applications usually come from different sources. For an objective comparison of VMT estimates from different methods, the principles and assumptions supporting the methods and the potential sources of error associated with the methods must be clearly understood.
Traffic flows in the U.S. have been affected by the substantial increase and, as of January 2009, decrease in biofuel production and use. This paper considers a framework to study the effect on grain transportation flows of the 2005 Energy Act and subsequent legislation, which mandated higher production levels of biofuels, e.g. ethanol and biodiesels. Future research will incorporate changes due to the recent economic slowdown.
Agricultural markets often feature significant transport costs and spatially distributed production and processing which causes spatial imperfect competition. Spatial economics considers the firms’ decisions regarding location and spatial price strategy separately, usually on the demand side, and under restrictive assumptions. Therefore, alternative approaches are needed to explain, e.g., the location of new ethanol plants in the U.S. at peripheral as well as at central locations and the observation of different spatial price strategies in the market.
In the last decade biofuel production has been driven by governmental policies. This article reviews the national strategy plans of the world’s leading producers. Particular attention is dedicated to blending targets, support schemes and feedstock use. Individual country profiles are grouped by continent and include North America (Canada and the US), South America (Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia), Europe (the European Union, France, and Germany), Asia (China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand) and Australia.
This study quantifies the impact of increasing ethanol production on wholesale/retail gasoline prices employing pooled regional time-series data from January 1995 to March 2008. We find that the growth in ethanol production kept wholesale gasoline prices $0.14/gallon lower than would otherwise have been the case. The negative impact of ethanol on retail gasoline prices is found to vary considerably across regions. The Midwest region has the biggest impact at $0.28/gallon, while the Rocky Mountain region had the smallest impact at $0.07/gallon.
In 1997, eight E85 (85% ethanol; 15% gasoline) fuel pumps were installed at separate retail fuel stations in Minnesota to provide high-blend ethanol fuel to flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) owners. FFVs capable of utilizing gasoline, E85, or any mixture of the two, were beginning to be mass produced by vehicle manufacturers and distributed through fleet and retail sales nationwide. These state-level E85 efforts were part of larger federal and state policies and programs promoting the use of alternative transportation fuels to displace traditional gasoline and diesel fuel, which continue today.
Enhanced environmental quality, fuel security, and economic development along with reduced prices of ethanol-gasoline blends are often used as justifications for the U.S. federal excise tax exemption on ethanol fuels. However, the possible effect of increased overall consumption of fuel in response to lower total price, mitigating the environmental and fuel security benefits, are generally not considered. Taking this price response into account, the optimal U.S. ethanol subsidy is derived.
When fuelwood is harvested at a rate exceeding natural growth and inefficient conversion technologies are used, negative environmental and socio-economic impacts, such as fuelwood shortages, natural forests degradation and net GHG emissions arise. In this study, we argue that analyzing fuelwood supply/demand spatial patterns require multiscale approaches to effectively bridge the gap between national results with local situations.
This paper describes a methodology to explore the (future) spatial distribution of biofuel crops in Europe. Two main types of biofuel crops are distinguished: biofuel crops used for the production of biodiesel or bioethanol, and second-generation biofuel crops. A multiscale, multi-model approach is used in which biofuel crops are allocated over the period 2000?2030. The area of biofuel crops at the national level is determined by a macroeconomic model. A spatially explicit land use model is used to allocate the biofuel crops within the countries.