Agriculture, land use, and commercial biomass energy
Agriculture, land use, and commercial biomass energy In this paper we have considered commercial biomass energy in the context of overall agriculture and land-use change. We have described a model of energy, agriculture, and land-use and employed that model to examine the implications of commercial biomass energy or both energy sector and land-use change carbon emissions. In general we find that the introduction of biomass energy has a negative effect on the extent of unmanaged ecosystems. Commercial biomass introduces a major new land use which raises land rental rates, and provides an incentive to bring more land into production, increasing the rate of incursion into unmanaged ecosystems. But while the emergence of a commercial biomass industry may increase land-use change emissions, the overall effect is strongly to reduce total anthropogenic carbon emissions. Further, the higher the rate of commercial biomass energy productivity, the lower net emissions. Higher commercial biomass energy productivity, while leading to higher land-use change emissions, has a far stronger effect on fossil fuel carbon emissions. Highly productive and inexpensive commercial biomass energy technologies appear to have a substantial depressing effect on total anthropogenic carbon emissions, though their introduction raises the rental rate on land, providing incentives for greater rates of deforestation than in the more »
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