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  • 4. Adoption dynamics
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Adoption dynamics in bioenergy markets



After the oil crisis, many European countries implemented policies in order to decreased oil dependence. These policies were later reinforced with growing environmental concerns, and dedicated to the promotion of renewable energy. One example of such a promotion was the development and establishment of energy crops as a source of biomass for energy purposes. Sweden was among the countries considering this options from the beginning, particularly focusing on fast growing willow plantations. Initial research was developed in the 1970s and 1980s and a set of policy incentives were established in the 1990s to promote and expand plantation areas. This programme and its evolution serves as an example of application of subsidies on the supply side in parallel to taxes on carbon and sulphur. Also, illustrates the effect of drastic changes in the policy framework along time, in this case as a result of Sweden joining the EU in 1995 and the changes in the subsidy schemes. At the same time, this shows the adoption patterns of farmers to innovations and crop alternatives. There are methodological tools that will help us to understand the complex patterns related to adoption, based on risk profiles. Finally, the session will present a simplified model of the different interactions between factors such as policy, profitability, cost reductions, risk perceptions, etc...


Lecture Slides Blas MOLA-YUDEGO [PDF], Håkan ROSENQVIST [PDF][ppt]


Mola-Yudego, B., Dimitriou, I., Gonzalez-Garcia, S., Gritten, D., & Aronsson, P. (2014). A conceptual framework for the introduction of energy crops.Renewable Energy72, 29-38. [PDF][PDF]

McCormick, K., & Kåberger, T. (2005). Exploring a pioneering bioenergy system: The case of Enköping in Sweden. Journal of Cleaner production,13(10), 1003-1014. [PDF]


Diffusion of innovations

Complementary materials


Griliches, Z. (1957). Hybrid corn: An exploration in the economics of technological change. Econometrica, Journal of the Econometric Society, 501-522.[PDF]

  • Plantation management (presentation) [PDF]
  • Plantation management (photos) [PDF]
  • Peat management [PDF]
  • Peat production facts [web]



What are the methods used in the diffusion of innovations on agricultural markets?

How different types of measures can affect bioenergy markets?

What were the main policy measures implemented in Sweden for the promotion of energy crops?

How do we work to get increased cultivation of Salix and other energy crops where there are proper economic conditions?

How are the right conditions for profitable Salix cultivation or other energy crops created?


[These questions may help the students to focus and reflect on the topic contents. They do not require to be submitted as an assignment and are not to be evaluated.]




This session focuses on:

  • Getting familiar with the mechanism of adoption of new technologies
  • Exploring the effects of policy tools in market dynamics
  • Reviewing the introduction of energy crops in Sweden as a case example
  • Establishing a framework for understanding the interactions between policy, technology, economy...
  • Reviewing new business models for bioenergy systems


Willow plantation for energy in Uppsala (Sweden). Plantations and crops for biofuels are new agricultural systems that need to be adopted by farmers and follow the characteristic pattern of the diffusion of innovations.

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