Economics of Hybrid Poplar Plantations in Western Canada for Bioethanol Production

  • Author / Creator
    Shooshtarian, Ashan
  • 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.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2015
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.