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A Spatially Explicit Optimization Model for Agricultural Straw-Based Power Plant Site Selection: A Case Study in Hubei Province, China

Xiang Zhao (), Xiaoya Ma (), Kun Wang (), Yuqing Long (), Dongjie Zhang () and Zhanchun Xiao ()
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Xiang Zhao: School of Resource and Environmental Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Xiaoya Ma: School of Resource and Environmental Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Kun Wang: School of Resource and Environmental Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Yuqing Long: School of Resource and Environmental Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Dongjie Zhang: School of Resource and Environmental Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China
Zhanchun Xiao: School of Resource and Environmental Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430079, China

Sustainability, 2017, vol. 9, issue 5, 1-19

Abstract: Using agricultural straw to generate electricity is an effective approach for relieving the pressure of procuring a reliable energy supply and reducing environmental pollution. Because the locations of the power plants have a significant impact on the supply of raw materials and the cost of transportation, it is important to choose reasonable locations for power plants. To solve the problem of straw-based power plant site selection (SPPSS), in this paper, a spatially explicit optimization model is proposed. Compared to the existing research, the present study makes the following major contributions: (1) The agricultural land quality evaluation dataset, combined with the cropping system and theoretical yield information, is used as the basic data to estimate agricultural straw yields, thereby increasing the accuracy of the straw yield and spatial distribution estimates. (2) Geographic information system (GIS) techniques are employed to improve an artificial immune system (AIS), which is an effective and flexible approach for solving optimization problems. The Chinese province of Hubei is selected as the experimental area to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed model. The experimental results demonstrate that of the 34.89 million tons of agricultural straw produced in Hubei Province each year, 17.45 million tons can be used for electricity generation. The optimization schemes generated by the proposed model are feasible. Our results are expected to provide an important decision-making basis for straw-based power plant (SPP) development planning in Hubei Province.

Keywords: straw-based power plants; spatially explicit optimization model; location (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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