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Title: Using System Dynamics to Model the Transition to Biofuels in the United States

Abstract

Today, the U.S. consumes almost 21 million barrels of crude oil per day; approximately 60% of the U.S. demand is supplied by imports. The transportation sector alone accounts for two-thirds of U.S. petroleum use. Biofuels, liquid fuels produced from domestically-grown biomass, have the potential to displace about 30% of current U.S. gasoline consumption. Transitioning to a biofuels industry on this scale will require the creation of a robust biomass-to-biofuels system-of-systems that operates in concert with the existing agriculture, forestry, energy, and transportation markets. The U.S. Department of Energy is employing a system dynamics approach to investigate potential market penetration scenarios for cellulosic ethanol, and to aid decision makers in focusing government actions on the areas with greatest potential to accelerate the deployment of biofuels and ultimately reduce the nationpsilas dependence on imported oil.

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1023060
DOE Contract Number:
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: [Proceedings] 2008 IEEE International Conference on System of Systems Engineering (SoSE), 2-4 June 2008, Singapore; Related Information: For preprint version, see NREL/CP-150-43153
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; AGRICULTURE; BIOFUELS; BIOMASS; CELLULOSIC ETHANOL; FOCUSING; FORESTRY; GASOLINE; IMPORTS; LIQUID FUELS; MARKET; PETROLEUM; TRANSPORTATION SECTOR; Energy Analysis

Citation Formats

Bush, B., Duffy, M., Sandor, D., and Peterson, S. Using System Dynamics to Model the Transition to Biofuels in the United States. United States: N. p., 2008. Web. doi:10.1109/SYSOSE.2008.4724136.
Bush, B., Duffy, M., Sandor, D., & Peterson, S. Using System Dynamics to Model the Transition to Biofuels in the United States. United States. doi:10.1109/SYSOSE.2008.4724136.
Bush, B., Duffy, M., Sandor, D., and Peterson, S. 2008. "Using System Dynamics to Model the Transition to Biofuels in the United States". United States. doi:10.1109/SYSOSE.2008.4724136.
@article{osti_1023060,
title = {Using System Dynamics to Model the Transition to Biofuels in the United States},
author = {Bush, B. and Duffy, M. and Sandor, D. and Peterson, S.},
abstractNote = {Today, the U.S. consumes almost 21 million barrels of crude oil per day; approximately 60% of the U.S. demand is supplied by imports. The transportation sector alone accounts for two-thirds of U.S. petroleum use. Biofuels, liquid fuels produced from domestically-grown biomass, have the potential to displace about 30% of current U.S. gasoline consumption. Transitioning to a biofuels industry on this scale will require the creation of a robust biomass-to-biofuels system-of-systems that operates in concert with the existing agriculture, forestry, energy, and transportation markets. The U.S. Department of Energy is employing a system dynamics approach to investigate potential market penetration scenarios for cellulosic ethanol, and to aid decision makers in focusing government actions on the areas with greatest potential to accelerate the deployment of biofuels and ultimately reduce the nationpsilas dependence on imported oil.},
doi = {10.1109/SYSOSE.2008.4724136},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2008,
month = 1
}

Conference:
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  • Transitioning to a biofuels industry that is expected to displace about 30% of current U.S. gasoline consumption requires a robust biomass-to-biofuels system-of-systems that operates in concert with the existing markets. This paper discusses employing a system dynamics approach to investigate potential market penetration scenarios for cellulosic ethanol and to help government decision makers focus on areas with greatest potential.
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  • This paper (and its supplemental model) presents novel approaches to modeling interactions and related policies among investment, production, and learning in an emerging competitive industry. New biomass-to-biofuels pathways are being developed and commercialized to support goals for U.S. advanced biofuel use, such as those in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. We explore the impact of learning rates and techno-economics in a learning model excerpted from the Biomass Scenario Model (BSM), developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to explore the impact of biofuel policy on the evolution of the biofuels industry.more » The BSM integrates investment, production, and learning among competing biofuel conversion options that are at different stages of industrial development. We explain the novel methods used to simulate the impact of differing assumptions about mature industry techno-economics and about learning rates while accounting for the different maturity levels of various conversion pathways. A sensitivity study shows that the parameters studied (fixed capital investment, process yield, progress ratios, and pre-commercial investment) exhibit highly interactive effects, and the system, as modeled, tends toward market dominance of a single pathway due to competition and learning dynamics.« less
  • This paper (and its supplemental model) presents novel approaches to modeling interactions and related policies among investment, production, and learning in an emerging competitive industry. New biomass-to-biofuels pathways are being developed and commercialized to support goals for U.S. advanced biofuel use, such as those in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. We explore the impact of learning rates and techno-economics in a learning model excerpted from the Biomass Scenario Model (BSM), developed by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to explore the impact of biofuel policy on the evolution of the biofuels industry.more » The BSM integrates investment, production, and learning among competing biofuel conversion options that are at different stages of industrial development. We explain the novel methods used to simulate the impact of differing assumptions about mature industry techno-economics and about learning rates while accounting for the different maturity levels of various conversion pathways. A sensitivity study shows that the parameters studied (fixed capital investment, process yield, progress ratios, and pre-commercial investment) exhibit highly interactive effects, and the system, as modeled, tends toward market dominance of a single pathway due to competition and learning dynamics.« less