Research Reports

Identifying Potential Sites for Energy Production from Woody Biomass

Principal Investigator:

Dietmar W Rose, Syed A Husain

January 1997

Report no. CTS 97-01

Projects: Identify Potential Sites for Energy Production from Woody Biomass

Topics: Economics, Environment

This study examined the economic potential of producing short-rotation hybrid poplar on agricultural lands enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to support biomass requirements of two proposed powerplants and to supplement industrial timber requirements in Minnesota. Timber product demands at six aggregated traditional forest markets and biomass demands at two power plant locations currently under consideration were considered over a hundred year planning horizon.

The modeling effort consisted of a spatial and dynamic optimization model with a built in harvest scheduling model, a forest growth model, and a transportation model based on the actual road network. Initially, the model was used to derive optimal wood energy cost and supply schedules using only agricultural lands. The model was then expanded to include forest lands and the timber requirements of the forest industries within the state. Forest lands were modeled under environmentally restricted and unrestricted management practices to determine the cost of environmental mitigation. The scheduling model identified supply schedules reflecting the optimal location of timber and biomass production for each demand center under several land base and cost assumptions. The marginal cost of delivered timber products, location and quantity of forest and agricultural lands harvested, and total costs of meeting the demand target goals in each planning period are also estimated.

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