Sixty billion gallons by 2030: Economic and agricultural impacts of ethanol and biodiesel expansion

Daniel G. De La Torre Ugarte, Burton C. English, Kim Jensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a journalpeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The agricultural and economic impact of increasing ethanol and biodiesel production beyond the levels specified in the recently enacted renewable fuel standard has been studied. The levels of ethanol production analyzed are 10, 30, and 60B gallons of ethanol annually by 2010, 2020, and 2030, respectively. Also, the sensitivity to the timing of commercialization of cellulose-to-ethanol technology and impacts of associated corn to ethanol industry adjustments is projected including the impacts of producing 1B gallons of biodiesel production by 2012 and 1.6B gallons by 2030. The result revealed that for the period 2007-30, the estimated accumulated gains in net farm income are over $210B, and the accumulated potential savings in governments are estimated to be $150B. Economic gains are projected to accrue in the majority of US regions due to the geographic decentralization of the production of feedstock. Expansion beyond 60B gallons per year would require expansion of the region suitable for the production of bioenergy crops, the ability to convert other pastureland into energy crops, allowing the use of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acreage for feedstock production, increasing short-rotation wood crops in the Northwest regions, increasing above those assumed in the analysis, and/or increasing the efficiency of cellulose-to-ethanol conversion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1290-1295
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


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