The food-energy-water (FEW) nexus is facing grand challenges in meeting increasing demand resulting from global changes in climate, economy, and population. Emerging technologies are expected to play a critical role in responding to these challenges. Focusing on four types of prominent emerging technologies (namely precision agriculture coupled with big data and machine learning, gene editing, second-generation biofuels, and agrivoltaics), this article reviews existing studies regarding opportunities and challenges of these emerging technologies to address issues of the FEW nexus. Drivers of innovation and adoption of these emerging technologies as well as the role of public policies that interact with these drivers are reviewed. Finally, this review also discusses research gaps that need to be filled to harness the potential benefits of these emerging technologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-85
Number of pages21
JournalAnnual Review of Resource Economics
StatePublished - Oct 6 2020


  • Agricultural technologies
  • Agrivoltaics
  • Food-energy-water nexus
  • Gene editing
  • Precision agriculture
  • Second-generation biofuels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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