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The financial feasibility of delivering forest treatment residues to bioenergy facilities over a range of diesel fuel and delivered biomass prices


Jones, Greg; Loeffler, Dan; Butler, Edward; Hummel, Susan; Chung, Woodam. 2013. The financial feasibility of delivering forest treatment residues to bioenergy facilities over a range of diesel fuel and delivered biomass prices. Biomass and Bioenergy. 48: 171-180.

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biombioe.2012.11.023

Forest treatments have the potential to produce significant quantities of forest residue biomass, which includes the tops and limbs from merchantable trees and smaller trees removed to meet management objectives. We spatially analyzed the sensitivity of financially feasible biomass volumes for delivery to a bioenergy facility across 16 combinations of delivered biomass and diesel prices for a 515,900 ha area in western Montana. At the lowest delivered biomass price analyzed, $31.52 per oven dried tonne (ODT), 28% of the potential volume was financially feasible at the lowest diesel price, $0.053 L-1, dropping off to 6% of the volume at the highest diesel price analyzed, $1.32 L-1. With a 50% increase in delivered biomass price to $47.28 ODT-1, feasibility increased to 88% at the $0.53 L-1 diesel price, dropping to 36% of the volume at the $1.32 L-1 diesel price. Another 50% increase in delivered biomass price to $63.05 ODT-1 resulted in the feasible volume converging on the total potential volume at the lower diesel prices, and at the highest delivered price, $78.81 ODT-1, nearly all potentially available biomass is financially feasible even at the highest diesel fuel price analyzed. Haul was almost entirely restricted to paved roads closest to the bioenergy facility at the lowest delivered biomass price. As delivered price increased, feasible volume expanded further into areas accessed by unpaved roads as well as paved roads further from the bioenergy facility. Results show that financial feasibility is much more sensitive to changes in delivered biomass prices than diesel prices.

Keywords: woody biomass, bioenergy, logging residues, biomass supply, biomass price, biomass cost


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: The financial feasibility of delivering forest treatment residues to bioenergy facilities over a range of diesel fuel and delivered biomass prices
Electronic Publish Date: February 8, 2013
Last Update:
February 8, 2013

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