Regional Environmental Change

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 521–532 | Cite as

To produce or not to produce: an analysis of bioenergy and crop production decisions based on farmer typologies in Brandenburg, Germany

  • Sandra Venghaus
  • Lilibeth Acosta
Original Article


The future course of the political regulation of bioenergy will have a significant sustainability impact on many levels. Understanding the specific effects of different political governance strategies on the agricultural system is essential for developing a stable and economically, ecologically as well as socially sustainable market for bioenergy. This paper contributes to this objective by providing an analysis of different decision patterns of farmers in the production of energy crops. For this purpose, an empirical analysis was conducted among farmers in the federal state of Brandenburg in northern Germany. A cluster analysis of structural factors resulted in a typology of farmers that differ in their energy crop production decisions. Six cluster typologies are identified for each of which a cluster-specific conjoint analysis helped to identify decision preferences in order to understand how and to what degree structural farm characteristics as well as respective production “traditions” influence the willingness to produce crops for energy use.


Energy crops Farmer typologies Bioenergy Cluster analysis Conjoint analysis 


Funding information

This research was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of its FONA-program in social-ecological research (FKZ 01UU0901A).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact ResearchPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Energy and Climate Research - Systems Analysis and Technology Evaluation (IEK-STE), Forschungszentrum JülichJülichGermany

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