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Availability of local woody biomass for large-scale energy production in the Netherlands. Case study: Vattenfall biomass plant in Utrecht.

By Pieter Broekema


SUMMARY Several potential studies have demonstrated that there is a relatively high potential for the combustion of local woody biomass. Vattenfall investigates the feasibility of building a plant in Utrecht, which will fully run on woody biomass. The plant will for the largest part make use of biomass originated from the Netherlands. The availability of local woody biomass is an important factor in the development of this plant. Therefore, we investigate the availability of local woody biomass for the Vattenfall biomass plant. Also, we investigate the factors that determine this availability. We estimated the available volume of woody biomass for the Vattenfall biomass plant to be around 1130 ktonodt per annum. This is a significant smaller volume than the volume estimated in currently existing potential studies, We are able to explain this difference by several factors. Important factors are the lack of clear-fellings in Dutch forests, other functions for forests than wood production, relatively high logistical costs to collect woody biomass from orchards and road sides and the existence of competing industries. Four potential options to increase the actual availability of woody biomass are the reduction of logistical costs via umbrella organizations, a change in the willingness of supply of nature conservation organizations, the combustion of grass and the import of woody biomass.

Year: 2013
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