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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
    2015-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3VM4342B
  • 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.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology
  • Specialization
    • Agricultural and Resource Economics
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Dr. Glen Armstrong, Department of Renewable Resources
    • Dr. Martin Luckert, Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • 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