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As the bioenergy industry in the U.S. expands to meet increased demands for transportation fuel under the Renewable Fuel Standard and electrical power under state Renewable Portfolio Standards and the proposed Clean Power Plan, producers of biomass will seek the ability to grow dedicated, high-yielding energy crops of a perennial nature on leased property. Given the large amount of leased farmland in the U.S., the contributions of tenant-farmers will represent a significant, though currently not well understood, segment of the biomass supply chain. Through the use of contracts as governance schemes, landowners and tenants can navigate three key challenges of the bioeconomy: the necessity of long-term access to land coupled with the development of equitable termination clauses; assuaging landowner concerns regarding the potential invasiveness associated with some novel bioenergy crops; and the reclamation of rhizomes as an additional revenue stream associated with perennial biomass production.
Elise C. Scott & A. Bryan Endres, Demanding Supply: Re-Envisioning the Landlord-Tenant Relationship for Optimized Perennial Energy Crop Production, 25 Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum 101-129 (2014)
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/delpf/vol25/iss1/3