A National Assessment of Promising Areas for Switchgrass, Hybrid Poplar, or Willow Energy Crop Production
A National Assessment of Promising Areas for Switchgrass, Hybrid Poplar, or Willow Energy Crop Production The objective of this paper is to systematically assess the cropland acreage that could support energy crops and the expected farm gate and delivered prices of energy crops. The assessment is based on output from two modeling approaches: (1) the Oak Ridge County-Level Energy Crop (ORECCL) database (1996 version) and (2) the Oak Ridge Integrated Bioenergy Analysis System (ORIBAS). The former provides county-level estimates of suitable acres, yields, and farmgate prices of energy crops (switchgrass, hybrid poplar, willow) for all fifty states. The latter estimates delivered feedstock prices and quantities within a state at a fine resolution (1 km2) and considers the interplay between transportation costs, farmgate prices, cropland density, and facility demand. It can be used to look at any type of feedstock given the appropriate input parameters. For the purposes of this assessment, ORIBAS has been used to estimate farmgate and delivered switchgrass prices in 11 states (AL, FL, GA, IA, M N, MO, ND, NE, SC, SD, and TN). Because the potential for energy crop production can be considered from several perspectives, and is evolving as policies, economics and our basic understanding of energy crop yields and production costs change, this assessment should be viewed as a more »
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