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Economics of Hybrid Poplar Plantations in Western Canada for Bioethanol Production Open Access


Other title
Forest level analysis
Timber supply
Carbon sequesteration
Hybrid poplar
Stand level analysis
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Shooshtarian, Ashan
Supervisor and department
Dr. Martin Luckert, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology
Dr. Glen Armstrong, Department of Renewable Resources
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Scott Jeffery (Arm`s Length Examiner), Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology
Dr. Peter Boxall (Chair), Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology
Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology
Agricultural and Resource Economics
Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
This two papers thesis explores the economics of hybrid poplar plantations as a potential bioethanol feedstock in Canada. The first paper (Chapter 2) is the stand-level analysis of the financial viability of producing hybrid poplar on private lands for both single-stem and coppice production systems. The results suggest that the coppice system is financially inferior to the single stem. But the single-stem production system could be financially feasible, given the current land and biomass prices and a real discount rate of less than 4.6%. The second paper (Chapter 3) is the forest-level analysis. In this model, public lands are considered to investigate the impacts of different policies on the NPV of a stylized forestry firm for both juvenile and split mature initial forest inventories. The investigated policy variables include varying even-flow conditions, allowing the exotic plantations on public lands, and accounting for sequestered carbon. The results show that permitting hybrid poplar plantations on public lands not only results in higher NPVs, but also leads to more non-harvested lands. Also, the results indicate that accounting for sequestered carbon does not always lead to an increase in the firm`s total NPV. The reason is that carbon sequestration has a dynamic nature that depends on several factors in each scenario. In addition, when the forestry firm maximizes the timber NPV instead of both timber and carbon NPV, there is always a social cost of not considering carbon that actually has value.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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