Summary of US National Academies Research Council (NRC) report “Renewable Fuels Standard: Potential Economic and Environmental Effects of U.S. Biofuel Policy”

This report by the National Academies National Research Council (NRC) evaluates the potential for the United States to fulfil the amended Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) over the next decade as well as possible economic and environmental impacts of fulfilling the RFS2.

Find it In: Biofuels, Indirect land use change (ILUC), Indirect land use change (ILUC), Fuels

EU Joint Research Centre publishes iLUC expert report and new IFPRI-based factors

In the last week, the EU’s scientific directorate, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), has published two reports – the rather delayed report of the outcomes of an iLUC experts’ meeting last November, and a report with new iLUC emissions estimates based on a combination of IFPRI MIRAGE’s new economic modelling and the JRC’s own spatial allocation model for determining the carbon consequences of land conversion.

Find it In: Indirect land use change (ILUC), Fuels

New IFPRI MIRAGE iLUC study released by European Commission

The European Commission has just released the long awaited new report on the modelling of indirect land use change using IFPRI’s MIRAGE economic model. The paper adopts a new scenario based on the National Renewable Energy Action Plans and applies several model improvements, to update both the overall conclusions of the modelling published last summer and the marginal iLUC factors for individual feedstocks.

Find it In: Biofuels, Indirect land use change (ILUC), Indirect land use change (ILUC), Fuels

European Biodiesel Board launches pre-emptive critiques of new European Commission/IFPRI iLUC modelling

Over the last year, David Laborde of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) has been working for the European Commission Directorate General for Trade on revisions to indirect land use change modelling published in 2010, using the Computable General Equilibrium MIRAGE economic model. The results of this revised modelling will be reflected in a forthcoming impact assessment by the European Commission of options to address indirect land use change caused by biofuel mandates.

Find it In: Biofuels, Indirect land use change (ILUC), Fuels

Scientific Committee of the European Environment Agency releases opinion on bioenergy, calls for focus on additionality

The European Environment Agency’s Scientific Committee released on 16 September an opinion on GHG accounting in relation to bioenergy. The opinion argues that it is incorrect to assume that using biomass for energy automatically reduces overall carbon emissions. Rather, it argues that additional carbon sequestration from the atmosphere must be demonstrated, or else you may have simply replaced the release of carbon from a long term store (fossil fuel deposits) with the release of carbon from a shorter term store (terrestrial biomass) with no net carbon reduction.

Find it In: Biofuels, GHG emissions, Indirect land use change (ILUC), Fuels

O’Hare et al. refute the recent Kim and Dale paper that argued US biofuel demand hadn’t caused iLUC

Earlier this year, Biomass and Bioenergy published an article by Kim and Dale in which they looked for iLUC from US biofuel mandates with a statistical test, and asserted that none had occurred (or their instrument was unable to find it). This result has been very widely circulated, but now the same journal has published a short refutation by O’Hare et al., with co-authors representing institutions including GTAP, IFPRI and the EU Joint Research Centre.

Find it In: Biofuels, Indirect land use change (ILUC), Fuels