Estimating regional supply and delivered cost of forest and wood processing biomass available for bioenergy
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Forestry Science
New Zealand has ratified the Kyoto Protocol and agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels in the first commitment period 2008-2012. Energy generated from renewable sources, such as New Zealand plantation forests and wood processing sites, is considered greenhouse gas neutral. But the use of biomass for bioenergy in New Zealand is very small. Some of the reasons for this include a lack of information about the future fuel supply and delivered cost. This thesis aims to provide a methodology to estimate biomass fuel availability and the delivered cost, of a range of forest and wood processing sources within a district, and to analyse the impact of harvest age, harvesting practices, terrain, collection and chipping costs, opportunity cost and transport costs on the availability and delivered cost of biomass for bioenergy. The six biomass streams included were chiplogs, forest landing residues, cutover residues, sawdust, bark and chip. The methodology was developed based on an area in Canterbury, and tested on an area in the Nelson/Marlborough region. It utilises forest growth models, Geographic Information Systems and Microsoft Excel. Growth models allow the analysis to be customised to a particular area or region, while the use of GIS allows the model to take spatial aspects (for example slope and transport distance) into consideration. Developing the overall framework within Excel allows easy analysis of the results and changes to the underlying assumptions. Opportunity costs make up a large proportion of the total cost of delivery for the chiplog, sawdust, bark and chip biomass and need to be included in any estimate of cost for these biomass streams. The logistic system chosen for collecting and chipping the forest residues has a large impact on their delivered cost as do the transport costs. However transport cost is not the most significant influence on the delivered cost of other biomass streams. The use of biomass for electricity generation only is not currently economic in either of the areas analysed. The use of biomass for heat production is currently economic if compared to the electricity purchase price.