Nowadays, the cultivation of energy crops is, in most cases, directly or indirectly subsidized at EU and global levels. However, their financial viability, i.e. sustainable profitability in the absence of subsidies, is not too remote any more given the increasing cost of fossil fuels, pressing environmental concerns, and the rapid technological progress in the renewable energies field.This analysis presents a number of case studies examining the viability of the most promising oil and sugar crops for the production of first-generation biofuels. The presented outputs of this work indicate that today, the viability of energy crops, such as rapeseed (Brassica napus), Brassica carinata, sunflower and sweet sorghum, can be attained under favorable conditions. Detailed cost analysis of these crops in various European regions leads to the estimation of profitability and illustrates their financial profile. Comparative analyses are made with the most widespread conventional food crops, such as wheat and maize.The results of the study have shown that first-generation oil producing crops in Europe are worth cultivating under current support regimes and under favorable market conditions. In view of the prevailing instability in the price of crops, the farmer has to make decisions on a rather short-term basis. Sweet sorghum in southern Europe appears to be a very promising proposition for the production of bioethanol, as it appears much more efficient than cereals and sugarbeets, which are used today in the bioethanol industry.
|Titolo:||Economic viability of energy crops in the EU: the farmer’s point of view|
|Autori interni:||COSENTINO, Salvatore|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2010|
|Rivista:||BIOFUELS, BIOPRODUCTS & BIOREFINING|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|