Barriers to and Drivers of the Adoption of Energy Crops by Swedish Farmers: An Empirical Study

Anna C. Jonsson
Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Linköping University, Norrköping, Sweden

Madelene Ostwald
Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Linköping University, Norrköping, Sweden \ Physical Resource Theory, Department of Energy and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden

Therese Asplund
Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Linköping University, Norrköping, Sweden

Victoria Wibeck
Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Linköping University, Norrköping, Sweden

Ladda ner artikelhttp://dx.doi.org/10.3384/ecp110572509

Ingår i: World Renewable Energy Congress - Sweden; 8-13 May; 2011; Linköping; Sweden

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 57:30, s. 2509-2516

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Publicerad: 2011-11-03

ISBN: 978-91-7393-070-3

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


Since the Swedish government and the EU intend to encourage farmers to expand energy crop production; knowledge of the factors motivating adoption decisions is vital to policy success. Earlier studies have demonstrated that important barriers to farmer adoption of energy crops include converting from annual to perennial crops and from traditional crops or production systems to new ones. Economic motivations for changing production systems are strong; but factors such as values (e.g.; aesthetics); knowledge (e.g.; habits and knowledge of production methods); and legal conditions (e.g.; cultivation licenses) are crucial for the change to energy crops. This paper helps fill gaps in the literature regarding why farmers decide to keep or change a production system. Based on a series of focus group interviews with Swedish farmers; the paper explores how farmers frame crop change decisions and what factors they consider most important. The main drivers of and barriers to growing energy crops; according to interviewees; are grouped and discussed in relation to four broad groups of motivational factors identified in the literature; i.e.; values; legal conditions; knowledge; and economic factors. The paper ends by discussing whether some barriers could be overcome by policy changes at the national and European levels.


Climate change; Energy crops; Farmers’ incentives; Drivers; Barriers


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