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Logging residue supply and costs for electricity generation: Potential variability and policy considerations

Justin S. Baker, Adam Crouch, Yongxia Cai, Greg Latta, Sara Ohrel, Jason Jones and Annah Latané

Energy Policy, 2018, vol. 116, issue C, 397-409

Abstract: This paper applies a spatial allocation optimization model to evaluate logging residue supply potential and costs for bioelectricity generation within the conterminous United States. Simulations are developed to estimate a range in supply potential and costs across a broad range of sensitivity scenarios, including (1) different biomass availability rates based on observed roundwood removals, (2) renewable energy targets set nationally or at a state-level, (3) with and without biomass sourcing restrictions within a state, (4) with and without access to public lands, and (5) policy restrictions on eligible facility types. Under the least restrictive policy scenario (a hypothetical national mandate), total supply is 8.8 million dry tons (MDT) at $20/DT and increases to 32.5 MDT at $80/DT. Results fall within the range of previous logging residue supply studies in the U.S., including the last two Billion Ton reports. Results from this paper offer important policy insight into the potential cost efficiency of a flexible policy design. Sensitivity scenarios show potential supply cost increases that could result from policies imposing regional restrictions, limiting access to public lands, and restricting eligible facilities. Restricting biomass supply sources within state boundaries reduces total supply up to 10% relative to an unrestricted national policy.

Keywords: Logging residues; Bioenergy; Spatial optimization; Supply potential; Bioenergy policy restrictions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2017.11.026

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