Time filter

Source Type

Colorado Springs, CO, United States

Warner E.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Inman D.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Kunstman B.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Bush B.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory | And 6 more authors.
Environmental Research Letters

Increasing demand for crop-based biofuels, in addition to other human drivers of land use, induces direct and indirect land use changes (LUC). Our system dynamics tool is intended to complement existing LUC modeling approaches and to improve the understanding of global LUC drivers and dynamics by allowing examination of global LUC under diverse scenarios and varying model assumptions. We report on a small subset of such analyses. This model provides insights into the drivers and dynamic interactions of LUC (e.g., dietary choices and biofuel policy) and is not intended to assert improvement in numerical results relative to other works. Demand for food commodities are mostly met in high food and high crop-based biofuel demand scenarios, but cropland must expand substantially. Meeting roughly 25% of global transportation fuel demand by 2050 with biofuels requires >2 times the land used to meet food demands under a presumed 40% increase in per capita food demand. In comparison, the high food demand scenario requires greater pastureland for meat production, leading to larger overall expansion into forest and grassland. Our results indicate that, in all scenarios, there is a potential for supply shortfalls, and associated upward pressure on prices, of food commodities requiring higher land use intensity (e.g., beef) which biofuels could exacerbate. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd. Source

Vimmerstedt L.J.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Bush B.W.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Hsu D.D.,Kilpatrick Townsend and Stockton LLP | Inman D.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Peterson S.O.,Lexidyne LLC
Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining

The Biomass Scenario Model (BSM) is a system-dynamics simulation model intended to explore the potential for rapid expansion of the biofuels industry. The model is not predictive - it uses scenario assumptions based on various types of data to simulate industry development, emphasizing how incentives and technological learning-by-doing might accelerate industry growth. The BSM simulates major sectors of the biofuels industry, including feedstock production and logistics, conversion, distribution, and end uses, as well as interactions among sectors. The model represents conversion of biomass to biofuels as a set of technology pathways, each of which has allowable feedstocks, capital and operating costs, allowable products, and other defined characteristics. This study and the BSM address bioenergy modeling analytic needs that were identified in recent literature reviews. Simulations indicate that investments are most effective at expanding biofuels production through learning-by-doing when they are coordinated with respect to timing, pathway, and target sector within the biofuels industry. Effectiveness metrics include timing and magnitude of increased production, incentive cost and cost effectiveness, and avoidance of windfall profits. Investment costs and optimal investment targets have inherent risks and uncertainties, such as the relative value of investment in more-mature versus less mature pathways. These can be explored through scenarios, but cannot be precisely predicted. Dynamic competition, including competition for cellulosic feedstocks and ethanol market shares, intensifies during times of rapid growth. Ethanol production increases rapidly, even up to Renewable Fuel Standards-targeted volumes of biofuel, in simulations that allow higher blending proportions of ethanol in gasoline-fueled vehicles. © This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. Biofuels, Bioproducts, Biorefining published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry. Source

Lexidyne LLC | Date: 2012-02-29

Computer software that provides real-time, integrated business management intelligence by combining information from various databases and presenting it in an easy-to-understand user interface. Business consultancy; Business consultation services. Business training; Business training consultancy services. Computer programming and software design; Computer software design; Computer software design for others.

Newes E.K.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Bush B.W.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Peck C.T.,Lexidyne LLC | Peterson S.O.,Lexidyne LLC

The potential long-term impacts and systemic effects of incentives are of great interest to the biofuels industry and decision makers, particularly with regards to forthcoming mandates for biofuels. We have used the Biomass Scenario Model (BSM) to build a theoretical understanding of the role of incentives on the evolution of the biomass-to-biofuels market. It models a broad range of biofuels such as renewable gasoline, diesel, and aviation fuel. In this paper, we focus on cellulosic ethanol as we describe model-based insights into potential incentives that are aimed at stimulating industry growth while tempering overall incentive-related government expenditures. Subsequent research can test the key insights gained through BSM simulations against actual policy implementation and actual outcomes. Copyright © 2015 Taylor & Francis. Source

Clark C.M.,Office of Research and Development | Lin Y.,National Renewable Energy Laboratory | Bierwagen B.G.,Office of Research and Development | Eaton L.M.,Oak Ridge National Laboratory | And 8 more authors.
Environmental Research Letters

Biofuels are expected to be a major contributor to renewable energy in the coming decades under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). These fuels have many attractive properties including the promotion of energy independence, rural development, and the reduction of national carbon emissions. However, several unresolved environmental and economic concerns remain. Environmentally, much of the biomass is expected to come from agricultural expansion and/or intensification, which may greatly affect the net environmental impact, and economically, the lack of a developed infrastructure and bottlenecks along the supply chain may affect the industry's economic vitality. The approximately 30 million acres (12 million hectares) under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) represent one land base for possible expansion. Here, we examine the potential role of the CRP in biofuels industry development, by (1) assessing the range of environmental effects on six end points of concern, and (2) simulating differences in potential industry growth nationally using a systems dynamics model. The model examines seven land-use scenarios (various percentages of CRP cultivation for biofuel) and five economic scenarios (subsidy schemes) to explore the benefits of using the CRP. The environmental assessment revealed wide variation in potential impacts. Lignocellulosic feedstocks had the greatest potential to improve the environmental condition relative to row crops, but the most plausible impacts were considered to be neutral or slightly negative. Model simulations revealed that industry growth was much more sensitive to economic scenarios than land-use scenarios - similar volumes of biofuels could be produced with no CRP as with 100% utilization. The range of responses to economic policy was substantial, including long-term market stagnation at current levels of first-generation biofuels under minimal policy intervention, or RFS-scale quantities of biofuels if policy or market conditions were more favorable. In total, the combination of the environmental assessment and the supply chain model suggests that large-scale conversion of the CRP to row crops would likely incur a significant environmental cost, without a concomitant benefit in terms of biofuel production. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd. Source

Discover hidden collaborations