This paper analyses the employment consequences of policies aimed to support biofuels in the European Union. The promotion of biofuel use has been advocated as a means to promote the sustainable use of natural resources and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions originating from transport activities on the one hand, and to reduce dependence on imported oil and thereby increase security of the European energy supply on the other hand. The employment impacts of increasing biofuels shares are calculated by taking into account a set of elements comprising the demand for capital goods required to produce biofuels, the additional demand for agricultural feedstock, higher fuel prices or reduced household budget in the case of price subsidisation, price effects ensuing from a hypothetical world oil price reduction linked to substitution in the EU market, and price impacts on agro-food commodities. The calculations refer to scenarios for the year 2020 targets as set out by the recent Renewable Energy Roadmap. Employment effects are assessed in an input-output framework taking into account bottom-up technology information to specify biofuels activities and linked to partial equilibrium models for the agricultural and energy sectors. The simulations suggest that biofuels targets on the order of 10-15% could be achieved without adverse net employment effects.
Neuwahl, Frederik, Andreas Löschel, Ignazio Mongelli and Luis Delgado (2008), Employment Impacts of EU Biofuels Policy: Combining Bottom-up Technology Information and Sectoral Market Simulations in an Input-output Framework, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 08-049, Mannheim. Download