Michigan iLUC study (Kim and Dale) revisits iLUC baseline questions

Life-cycle analyses

A recently published study by Kim and Dale at Michigan state concludes that either there is no iLUC due to US biofuels, or that the analysis is not adequately sensitive to identify iLUC. Kim and Dale’s statistical analysis shows a correlation between biofuel demand and increased corn and soy area in the US – this is broadly consistent with corn ethanol models like GTAP that predict iLUC in the US. Kim and Dale propose a no-iLUC conclusion by asserting that iLUC cannot have happened in a region where overall arable area is shrinking. Many in the field would dispute this interpretation, which is exogenous to the statisitical anlaysis (e.g. Dehue et al (2009) Mitigating indirect impacts of biofuel production: Case studies and Methodology, page 71).