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Title: A socio-economic study of bioenergy crop adoption in North East Scotland : an agent-based modelling approach
Author: Brown, Christopher
ISNI:       0000 0004 2726 0494
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2011
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Climate change has become the most important global environmental problem we face today. Agriculture, forestry and the land use sector not only contribute to national economies but also provide a source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as well as a carbon store, contributing approximately 20% but removing about 16%. Energy crops and associated increases in soil carbon sequestration from different ground covers through various land management strategies are examples of approaches that could be adopted to reduce GHG emissions. A number of these options have an associated economic cost to the land manager and it is important to understand what is economically and socially viable by understanding the link between energy crop adoption and a range of socio-economic factors. Agent-based modelling (ABMs) has been identified as providing a promising approach to integrate social, economic and biophysical processes. In the past these areas of research have been mainly studied separately but now there is an urgent need to address these areas in a combined way. Economic rationalisation is fundamental to farmers’ decision-making, although not wholly representative and non-economic factors were identified. The estimated GHG mitigation potential of bioenergy crops at current adoption levels is modest when taking Scotland’s national GHG emissions into account, however, more significant when considering the agricultural sector in isolation. This contribution can only increase with improved management practices and policy designed to encourage adoption and improve energy security. This work will contribute to a greater understanding of bioenergy land use strategies. This project used North East Scotland as the case study, with raw data collated by questionnaire, however, conclusions drawn add to the broader understanding of the link between socio-economic activity, bioenergy adoption and GHG emissions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Energy crops ; Biomass energy