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Analysis of the Impact of the Use of Eucalyptus Biomass for Energy on Wood Availability for Eucalyptus Forest in Portugal: a Simulation Study

Susana Barreiro, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Technical University of Lisbon
Margarida Tomé, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Technical University of Lisbon


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In the scope of energy diversification and profitable forest resource exploitation, increasing the use of biomass residues for energy can play an important role by using local sources of energy, reducing carbon emissions and fossil-energy use, providing additional revenue for the forest sector, and also reducing the risk of forest wildfires. Regional simulators can help forecast available wood and biomass and allow evaluation of possible future conflicts of interest and their consequences for society. This paper focuses on improving an existing regional forest simulator (SIMPLOT) so that it can be applied to study research questions related to increasing the use of eucalyptus biomass for bioenergy and the related consequences for wood available for pulp. Biomass modules were integrated into SIMPLOT so that different sources of biomass used for energy could be accounted for. The updated version of the simulator was used to assess the impact of different biomass demands for bioenergy, combined with different afforestation alternatives on the wood available for the pulp and paper industry in Portugal. SIMPLOT’s forecasts indicated that the eucalyptus forest is unable to satisfy wood demand even when pulp afforestation areas are doubled, regardless of the biomass demand considered. Also, the simulation results showed that, with the tested afforestation rates, eucalyptus forest cannot meet high increases in demand for wood.

Key words

biomass residues; energy production; eucalyptus; pulp and paper industry regional simulator; SIMPLOT

Copyright © 2012 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article  is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.  You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087