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Landowners’ willingness to promote bioenergy production on wasteland − future impact on land use of cutaway peatlands

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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-175
Number of pages9
JournalLand Use Policy
Volume69
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

Landowners are the key players in bioenergy production on wasteland; such as cutaway peatlands. In this study, the landowner's interest to use cutaway peatlands for bioenergy production was investigated using a survey and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) methods in an area in South Ostrobothnia, Finland. The focus was to identify which different bioenergy production chains are preferred by the respondents: combustion, gasification or biogas production from agriculture, energy-willow short-rotation forestry or forestry based energy crops. Also, the influence of personal environmental values on the selection was measured and the future impacts and barriers for the land use were assessed. Afforestation was the most popular after-use method among the landowners. The next most favorable method was energy crop cultivation but it was highly dependent on economic profitability and subsidies. Currently, approximately 8.2% or 500 ha of the total peat extraction area could be used for bioenergy production in the region by 2035. Based on the survey, forest based biomass is the best option if bioenergy is to be produced. The next choice was agro biomass and the least favored plant was willow. This study suggests that the biggest cutaway peatlands will be converted to forest energy in the future. Suggestive results were that the owners with high environmental values are especially interested in agro biomass growing and the landowner having a distant home place does not have a negative influence on bioenergy production. Altogether, land use and biomass production of cutaway peatlands is connected with the demands of the Finnish bio-economy.

Keywords

  • Biogas, Combustion, Energy crop, Gasification, GIS, Willow

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