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Harvest residue potential in Norway – A bio-economic model appraisal

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Use of harvest residues for bioenergy is minimal in Norway, and the proposed increase of 14 TWh in annual bioenergy use by year 2020 may thus to a large part be based on residues from conventional timber harvesting. To judge the potential of harvest residues for bioenergy both in the short and long run, we present cost-supply curves for residue harvesting at national and regional levels. We produce different harvesting scenarios using the detailed forest model Gaya/J and a representative description of the Norwegian forest area from Norwegian national forest inventory (NFI) sample plots including environmental restrictions. Forest information is sufficiently detailed to estimate necessary biomass fractions and calculate costs of harvest residue extraction at plot level. We estimate a maximum annual energy production of 5.3 TWh from harvest residues with the present harvest level, which is far from the official target. In principle, there are two solutions for achieving this target; increase harvests and thus the corresponding residue supply, or increase the use of roundwood for energy purposes on the expense of pulpwood. Scenarios with long-run increase in timber production shows an annual energy potential from harvest residues in the range 6–9 TWh. Thus, to reach the political target roundwood must be used for energy production.

Keywords: Bio energy; cost-supply curves; environmental restrictions; harvest cost; scenarios

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Ecology and Natural Resource Management, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway 2: Norwegian Forest and Landscape Institute, Ås, Norway

Publication date: July 1, 2013

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