Book Chapter

Modeling Land-Use Change Effects of Biofuels Policies: Coupling Economic Models and LCA

Assessing the effect of land-use change (LUC) induced by biofuel policies on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions required coupling and adapting models to address the complex interaction linking biofuels with agricultural and energy markets and the global scope of LUC. Coupling economic-spatial and biophysical models allowed to address iLUC GHG emissions from biofuels, which magnitude range between 10 and 340 gCO2eq/MJ, depending on the feedstock and origin, the models, assumptions an data used, the biofuel scenarios and the amortization period of GHG emissions. Despite the improvement in modelling this effect, large uncertainty is still linked to the estimation. iLUC factors have being introduced in the US biofuel regulation. The EU however is still deciding the approach to include LUC GHG emissions into biofuel regulation. The development of proper standards for calculating LUC GHG emissions from biofuels as well as the improvement of current methods and data are important to achieve more accurate estimates. The LUC effects of biofuel policies need to be addressed in a broader perspective of sustainable agriculture, land-use, industrial and energy systems.


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