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Energies 2015, 8(6), 5182-5197; doi:10.3390/en8065182

Sustainability Assessment of a Self-Consumption Wood-Energy Chain on Small Scale for Heat Generation in Central Italy

1
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria (CRA), Unità di ricerca per le produzioni legnose fuori foresta, Via valle della quistione, 27, 00166 Rome, Italy
2
Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l'analisi dell'economia agraria (CRA), Unità di ricerca per l'ingegneria agraria, Via della Pascolare, 16, 00016 Monterotondo, Italy
3
Department of Science and Technology for Agriculture, Forest, Nature and Energy (DAFNE), Tuscia University, Via S. Camillo De Lellis, 01100 Viterbo, Italy
4
Department of Agriculture, Food and Forest Systems, Florence University, Via San Bonaventura, 13 50145 Florence, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Enrico Sciubba
Received: 30 March 2015 / Accepted: 18 May 2015 / Published: 3 June 2015
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Abstract

The sustainability of a small-scale self-consumption wood-energy chain for heat generation in central Italy was analyzed from a technical, economic and energetic point of view. A micro-chain was developed within the CRA-ING farm at Monterotondo (Rome, Italy): The purpose of this system was to produce biomass for supplying a heating plant within the CRA-ING property as a substitute for diesel fuel. A poplar short rotation coppice, established with clones AF2, AF6 and Monviso, fed the micro-chain. The rotation was biennial. The average plantation production (Mgd.m.·ha−1·year−1) was 10.2, with a maximum of 13.53 for the twin-rows AF2 and a minimum of 8.00 for the single-row Monviso. The economic assessment was based on the Net Present Value (NPV) method and the equivalent annuity cost, and found an average saving of 15.60 €·GJ−1 of heat generated by the wood chips heating system in comparison with the diesel heating system over a 10 year lifetime of the thermal power plant. The energy assessment of the poplar plantation, carried out using the Gross Energy Requirements method, reported an energy output/input ratio of 12.3. The energy output/input ratio of the whole micro-chain was 4.5. View Full-Text
Keywords: short rotation coppice; micro-chain; production costs; economic sustainability; energy budget; net present value short rotation coppice; micro-chain; production costs; economic sustainability; energy budget; net present value
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MDPI and ACS Style

Verani, S.; Sperandio, G.; Picchio, R.; Marchi, E.; Costa, C. Sustainability Assessment of a Self-Consumption Wood-Energy Chain on Small Scale for Heat Generation in Central Italy. Energies 2015, 8, 5182-5197.

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