Kung, Chih-Chun (2010-12). Essays on Economic and Environmental Analysis of Taiwanese Bioenergy Production on Set-Aside Land. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon


  • Domestic production of bioenergy by utilizing set-aside land in Taiwan can reduce
    Taiwan's reliance on expensive and politically insecure foreign fossil fuels while also
    reducing the combustion of fossil fuels, which emit substantial amounts of greenhouse
    gases. After joining the World Trade Organization, Taiwan's agricultural sector idled
    about one-third of the national cropland, hereafter called "set-aside land". This
    potentially provides the land base for Taiwan to develop a bioenergy industry. This
    dissertation examines Taiwan's potential for bioenergy production using feedstocks
    grown on set-aside land and discusses the consequent effects on Taiwan's energy
    security plus benefits and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
    The Taiwan Agricultural Sector Model (TASM) was used to simulate different
    agricultural policies related to bioenergy production. To do this simulation the TASM
    model was extended to include additional bioenergy production possibilities and GHG
    accounting. We find that Taiwan's bioenergy production portfolio depends on prices of
    ethanol, electricity and GHG. When GHG prices go up, ethanol production decreases and electricity production increases because of the relatively stronger GHG offset power
    of biopower.
    Results from this pyrolysis study are then incorporated into the TASM model.
    Biochar from pyrolysis can be used in two ways: burn it or use it as a soil amendment.
    Considering both of these different uses of biochar, we examine bioenergy production
    and GHG offset to see to what extent Taiwan gets energy security benefits from the
    pyrolysis technology and how it contributes to climate change mitigation. Furthermore,
    by examining ethanol, electricity and pyrolysis together in the same framework, we are
    able to see how they affect each other under different GHG prices, coal prices and
    ethanol prices. Results show that ethanol is driven out by pyrolysis-based electricity
    when GHG price is high. We also find that when biochar is hauled back to the rice fields,
    GHG emission reduction is higher than that when biochar is burned for electricity;
    however, national electricity production is consequently higher when biochar is burned.

publication date

  • December 2010