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A Spatial-Dynamic Model of Bioenergy Crop Introduction in Illinois

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. Additionally, environmental and economic conditions, including soil quality, climate, and variable agricultural costs, vary significantly across Illinois. The intent of this study is to examine the spatial and economic conditions necessary for introducing bioenergy crops into the Illinois landscape. In this paper, we develop a spatial dynamic model to explore the process by which individual farmer agents optimize profits through crop selection and cost minimization. This dynamic agent-based modeling approach will allow us to determine the optimal spatial arrangement of crops throughout Illinois as it is influenced by several factors, including the use of subsidies, changes in travel costs and crop demand, and the introduction of new ethanol production plants. This article discusses model development and specification, and outlines future calibration procedures and scenario tests that will be formalized in future work.

Scheffran, Jurgen
Contact Person
Todd BenDor
Contact Organization
University of North Carolina
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Bioenergy Category
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 KC_090916160525.pdf 1.09 MB