The Production of Energy from Short Rotation Forestry
The objective was the production of woody biomass on a 3 to 5 year cycle as a feedstock for power stations. In the spring of 1977 field trials were laid down at 5 centres. Since then more intensive studies have been made on two peatland areas. Preliminary yield data obtained by the end of 1980 have been subjected to a systems analysis. Present indications are that, excluding land prices, short rotation forestry fuel can be produced at a price of about $104 U.S. per TOE, with a break even point of 5 to 16 years, depending on the inputs. It is foreseen that these costs can be further reduced by the use of improved clones, less expensive soil treatments and other technologies now being developed.
In utilisation, the main problem has been the relatively flat shape and high moisture of the particles. Studies on the rate of drying in the open air are in progress, and close liaison is being maintained with the 5MW combustion trials of the DGXVII project.
There is considerable interest in the project as a potential source of heat for private dwellings and small rural industries.
KeywordsBiomass Combustion Transportation Populus Betula
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