Spatiotemporal assessment of farm-gate production costs and economic potential of Miscanthus × giganteus, Panicum virgatum L., and Jatropha grown on marginal land in China

Bingquan Zhang* (Corresponding Author), Astley Hastings, John C Clifton-Brown, Dong Jiang, André P C Faaij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Spatially explicit farm‐gate production costs and the economic potential of three types of energy crop grown on available marginal land in China for 2017 and 2040 were investigated using a spatial accounting method and construction of cost–supply curves. The average farm‐gate cost from all available marginal land was calculated as 32.9 CNY GJ‐1 for Miscanthus Mode, 27.5 CNY GJ‐1 for Switchgrass Mode, 32.4 CNY GJ‐1 for Miscanthus & Switchgrass Mode, and 909 CNY GJ‐1 for Jatropha Mode in 2017. The costs of Miscanthus and switchgrass were predicted to decrease by approximately 11%‐15%, whereas the cost of Jatropha was expected to increase by 5% in 2040. The cost of Jatropha varies significantly from 193 to 9,477 CNY GJ‐1 across regions because of the huge differences in yield across regions. The economic potential of marginal land was calculated as 28.7 EJ/yr at a cost of less than 25 CNY GJ‐1 for Miscanthus Mode, 4.0 EJ/yr at a cost of less than 30 CNY GJ‐1 for Switchgrass Mode, 29.6 EJ/yr at a cost of less than 25 CNY GJ‐1 for Miscanthus & Switchgrass Mode, and 0.1 EJ/yr at a cost of less than 500 CNY GJ‐1 for Jatropha Mode in 2017. It is not feasible to develop Jatropha production on marginal land based on existing technologies, given its high production costs. Therefore, the Miscanthus & Switchgrass Mode is the most economical way, because it achieves the highest economic potential compared with other modes. The sensitivity analysis showed that the farm‐gate costs of Miscanthus and switchgrass are most sensitive to uncertainties associated with yield reduction and harvesting costs, while, for Jatropha, the unpredictable yield has the greatest impact on its farm‐gate cost. This study can help policymakers and industrial stakeholders make strategic and tactical bioenergy development plans in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-327
Number of pages18
JournalGlobal Change Biology. Bioenergy
Volume12
Issue number5
Early online date6 Mar 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

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Keywords

  • cost-supply curve
  • economic potential
  • energy crop
  • farm-gate production cost
  • Jatropha
  • marginal land
  • miscanthus X giganteus
  • switchgrass
  • cost–supply curve
  • Miscanthus × giganteus
  • PRICES
  • PERFORMANCE
  • VIABILITY
  • Miscanthus x giganteus
  • ONTARIO
  • MODEL
  • SWITCHGRASS
  • SUPPLY CHAINS
  • FEEDSTOCK
  • BIODIESEL PRODUCTION
  • BIOENERGY PRODUCTION

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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