Intentions of UK farmers toward biofuel crop production: Implications for policy targets and land use change
Mattison, E. H. A. and Norris, K. (2007) Intentions of UK farmers toward biofuel crop production: Implications for policy targets and land use change. Environmental Science & Technology, 41 (16). pp. 5589-5594. ISSN 0013-936X
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1021/es062211v
The United States and the European Union have set targets for biofuel production to decrease reliance on fossil fuels and to reduce fossil carbon emissions. Attainment of biofuel targets d6pends upon policy and infrastructure development but also on production of suitable raw materials. Production of relevant crops relies on the decisions that farmers make in their economic and political environment. We need to identify any farmer-related barriers to biofuel production and to determine whether novel policy and technology are required to meet targets. These aspects of the emerging biofuel industry are relevant across international barriers and have notyet been addressed quantitatively. We describe a case study from the UK of farmers' intentions toward producing two biofuel crops for which refining capacity either exists or is under construction. Given farmers' intentions, current land use, and conversion efficiency, we estimate potential biofuel production. These estimates indicate that EU targets are not achievable using domestically grown raw materials without policy intervention, use of alternative feedstocks, and either significant improvements in processing efficiency or largescale changes in land use.