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Building critical mass of tree growers for bioenergy: The case of Central West New South Wales, Australia

Velarde Pajares, Sandra Judith

Description

The progression of the bioenergy industry needs to address concerns regarding the security of feedstock supply and the related environmental sustainability. Traditional first-generation biofuel feedstocks (e.g. maize, soybeans) are being questioned in favour of more environmentally-sound second-generation biofuel feedstocks (e.g. trees, perennial grasses). However, as an emerging industry, the commercial use of second-generation biofuel feedstock sources has...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorVelarde Pajares, Sandra Judith
dc.date.accessioned2018-05-09T01:59:20Z
dc.identifier.otherb49661371
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/143281
dc.description.abstractThe progression of the bioenergy industry needs to address concerns regarding the security of feedstock supply and the related environmental sustainability. Traditional first-generation biofuel feedstocks (e.g. maize, soybeans) are being questioned in favour of more environmentally-sound second-generation biofuel feedstocks (e.g. trees, perennial grasses). However, as an emerging industry, the commercial use of second-generation biofuel feedstock sources has several challenges to overcome. One of these challenges is landholders’ willingness to plant second-generation crops on their farms. To understand the landholders’ perspectives, this thesis used a conceptual framework based on adoption of innovation and diffusion theory, and applied this framework to a case study in the Central West region of New South Wales, Australia. The research questions addressed were: 1) what factors underlie landholders’ willingness to plant bioenergy tree crops, 2) what are the landholders’ preferences in the design of contracts for planting these trees, and 3) what are the potential pathways to build a critical mass of tree growers for bioenergy. A mixed methods approach was used involving quantitative analytical tools (e.g. tobit and logit regressions, choice modelling, and break even analysis) and qualitative analytical tools (e.g. integrated analysis). Tobit and logit regression models estimates revealed three key traits that positively influence the decision to plant second-generation biofuel feedstocks: 1) the landholder’s proportion of unproductive land, 2) the landholder’s membership in farming related organisations, and 3) the landholder’s experience with planting blocks of trees. Conversely, the landholder’s older age-squared would negatively influence their decision to plant second-generation biofuel feedstocks. The choice model estimates revealed that landholders who had already planted blocks of trees would be less likely to need a flexible contract for planting trees as energy crops, while landholders with larger proportions of unproductive land would prefer higher returns. This thesis concludes that for a second-generation bioenergy industry to emerge, a critical mass of biomass growers needs to be secured; this can be achieved by developing interlinked pathways that include: 1) supportive policies, 2) local support and an innovation champion, and 3) corporate support and/or a potential biomass buyer or investor. This research has identified critical pathways that can be developed to progress the bioenergy industry in Australia. The proposed pathways can be used to explore actors’ participation and their potential roles in scaling up, and to better understand the process of building critical mass for a second-generation bioenergy industry.
dc.format.extent1 vol.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherCanberra, ACT : The Australian National University
dc.rightsAuthor retains copyright
dc.subjectcritical mass
dc.subjectbioenergy
dc.subjectadoption of innovation
dc.subjectnew value chains
dc.subjecttree planting
dc.subjecttree growers
dc.titleBuilding critical mass of tree growers for bioenergy: The case of Central West New South Wales, Australia
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.institutionThe Australian National University
local.contributor.supervisorTacconi, Luca
local.contributor.supervisorcontactluca.tacconi@anu.edu.au
dcterms.valid2018
local.description.notesthe author deposited 9/05/2018
local.description.notesThe author was granted extension of restriction till 1 Oct 2021 via email, archived in ERMS
local.description.refereedYes
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2016
local.type.statusAccepted Version
local.contributor.affiliationCrawford School of Public Policy, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University
local.description.embargo2021-10-01
local.request.emailrepository.admin@anu.edu.au
local.request.nameDigital Theses
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d51441529f43
dcterms.accessRightsRestricted access
local.mintdoimint
CollectionsRestricted Theses

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