Economics of forest biomass-based energy

Pankaj Lal, Janaki R.R. Alavalapati

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Woody bioenergy is an option to reduce dependency on fossil fuels, increase the share of renewable energy and improve the sustainability of forests. Forest economists have analyzed various issues, including economic and social consequences of dramatic increases in growing, harvesting and utilizing forest feedstocks for energy purposes and the ensuing impacts on family forest landowners and other key stakeholders along the supply chains as well as the society at large. We review the problems, applications of economic techniques and ensuing results and outcomes from the literature, focusing more on the ways in which bioenergy issues have been approached by economists, the tools and techniques that have been applied, assumptions therein and the ensuing results. Some of the key research areas, such as biomass supply, public preferences for woody bioenergy, competition with traditional forest industries, land-use change and greenhouse gas emissions, are highlighted. The use of multiple approaches and tools with varied focus, planning periods, feedstock considerations, models and parameter assumptions results in outputs and outcomes that might not be amenable for comparison; some examples are biomass supply estimates, price premiums for woody bioenergy and extension of rotation age to account for ‘carbon saving’. The woody bioenergy markets offer a plethora of research opportunities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Forest Resource Economics
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781136253294
ISBN (Print)9780415623247
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Biomass supply
  • Emissions
  • Land-use change
  • Public preferences
  • Willingness to pay


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