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[en] Sustainable non-food cropping systems for arable land are being studied intensively both in Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe to find alternatives, in which the need for economic subvention would be lower than the export subsidies for grain or other food products. The area of arable land available for non-food cultivation is about 1 million hectares in Finland and 20 - 30 million hectares in the European Communities. In addition to conventional crops and afforestatation, it is possible to grow energy plants (willow, poplar, miscanthus, etc.) and agrofibre plants in these areas. Cultivation of energy willows or other corresponding plants of less than 5 m in height is usually not considered afforestation, as a willow field can easily be retaken into agricultural use with certain reservations (e.g., covered drains can be clogged) This article gives a survey of the alternatives for the utilization of non-food cropping systems
[en] While the potential adverse effects of fossil fuel subsidy reform are well documented for households, the literature has largely ignored the effect of subsidy reform on firms’ competitiveness. This paper discusses how firms are affected by, and respond to, energy price increases caused by subsidy reforms. It highlights that cost increases (both direct and indirect) do not necessarily reflect competitiveness losses, since firms have various ways to mitigate and pass on price shocks. This paper presents and discusses direct and indirect transmission channels for price shocks, and firms’ response measures: absorbing cost shocks into profits, inter-fuel substitution, increasing energy and material efficiency, and passing on price increases. It argues that further micro-econometric studies using enterprise surveys are essential for quantifying the role of these mechanisms, and for designing policy measures that ensure that competitiveness losses due to subsidy reforms are minimised. - Highlights: • Concerns about competitiveness can be a key political obstacle to subsidy reform. • Net impacts are determined by (in-)direct price shocks, and four response measures. • Policy makers need to understand impacts on firms to design effective reforms. • Enterprise surveys are key for understanding and quantifying impacts on firms.
[en] Compared to gasoline driven spark ignition engines, diesel engines are more efficient and emit less CO2 and CO. The use of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from renewable lipid feed stocks such as vegetable oils or animal fats for use in compression ignition (diesel) engines was described. Production of this biodiesel product was illustrated. The raw materials for biodiesel include vegetable oil or animal fat, alcohol (methanol or ethanol), and a catalyst such as sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide. As far as uses are concerned, biodiesels can be used as a pure fuel, as a blending stock with petrodiesel, or in low levels with petrodiesel, indeed, anywhere where no. 1 or no. 2 petrodiesel is used. Details of the technical attributes of biodiesel were provided. The superior ability of biodiesel over petrodiesel to reduce particulates, carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons was documented. A case study of using biodiesel fuel in an underground mine was part of the demonstration. 20 refs., 6 tabs
[en] Externally heated rotary kiln pyrolysis reactor is used as a new process technology for the conversion of biomass into useful primary energy products. A 3 MW pyrolysis pilot plant is being operated for a period of two years using agricultural residues. Several analytical methods are applied to provide an insight into the complex process of pyrolysis. Fundamentals for an advanced pyrolysis model approach will be obtained by the results of the pilot plant. (author)
[en] This study quantifies the impact of increasing ethanol production on wholesale/retail gasoline prices employing pooled regional time-series data from January 1995 to March 2008. We find that the growth in ethanol production kept wholesale gasoline prices $0.14/gallon lower than would otherwise have been the case. The negative impact of ethanol on retail gasoline prices is found to vary considerably across regions. The Midwest region has the biggest impact at $0.28/gallon, while the Rocky Mountain region had the smallest impact at $0.07/gallon. The results also indicate that the ethanol-induced reduction in gasoline prices comes at the expense of refiners' profits. We find a net welfare loss of $0.5 billion from the ethanol support policies in multiple markets. (author)