Modelling the perennial energy crop market: the role of spatial diffusion

Peter Alexander*, Dominic Moran, Mark D. A. Rounsevell, Pete Smith

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

38 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Biomass produced from energy crops, such as Miscanthus and short rotation coppice is expected to contribute to renewable energy targets, but the slower than anticipated development of the UK market implies the need for greater understanding of the factors that govern adoption. Here, we apply an agent-based model of the UK perennial energy crop market, including the contingent interaction of supply and demand, to understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of energy crop adoption. Results indicate that perennial energy crop supply will be between six and nine times lower than previously published, because of time lags in adoption arising from a spatial diffusion process. The model simulates time lags of at least 20 years, which is supported empirically by the analogue of oilseed rape adoption in the UK from the 1970s. This implies the need to account for time lags arising from spatial diffusion in evaluating land-use change, climate change (mitigation or adaptation) or the adoption of novel technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20130656
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Royal Society Interface
Volume10
Issue number88
Early online date11 Sep 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2013

Keywords

  • agent-based model
  • biomass
  • bioenergy
  • diffusion of innovation
  • land use
  • spatial diffusion
  • short-rotation coppice
  • oilseed rape
  • UK
  • simulation
  • England
  • Wales
  • yield

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