Modelling the perennial energy crop market: the role of spatial diffusion

P Alexander, D Moran, MDA Rounsevell, P Smith

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55 Citations (Scopus)


Biomass produced from energy crops, such as Miscanthus and short rotation coppice is expected to contribute to renewable energy targets, but the slower than anticipated development of the UK market implies the need for greater understanding of the factors that govern adoption. Here, we apply an agentbased model of theUKperennial energy crop market, including the contingent interaction of supply and demand, to understand the spatial and temporal dynamics of energy crop adoption. Results indicate that perennial energy crop supply will be between six and nine times lower than previously published, because of time lags in adoption arising from a spatial diffusion process. The model simulates time lags of at least 20 years, which is supported empirically by the analogue of oilseed rape adoption in the UK from the 1970s. This implies the need to account for time lags arising from spatial diffusion in evaluating land-use change, climate change (mitigation or adaptation) or the adoption of novel technologies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInterface - Journal of the Royal Society
Issue number88
Publication statusPrint publication - 6 Nov 2013


  • Agent-based model
  • Bioenergy
  • Biomass
  • Diffusion of innovation
  • Land use
  • Spatial diffusion


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