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Open AccessArticle

Agro-Pruning for Energy as a Link between Rural Development and Clean Energy Policies

Department for Renewable Energy Sources, Energy Efficiency and Environmental Protection, Energy Institute Hrvoje Pozar, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Croatian Chamber of Agriculture, 10000 Zagreb; Croatia
Department of Management and Rural Entrepreneurship, University of Zagreb Faculty of Agriculture, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4240;
Received: 7 April 2020 / Revised: 17 May 2020 / Accepted: 18 May 2020 / Published: 21 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economic Evaluation of Renewable Energy Sources)
Agrarian pruning and plantation removal (APPR) is a common residue from pomo-technical maintenance of orchards, vineyards, and olive groves, frequently overlooked by the energy sector. This paper sheds new light on the socio-economic role of APPR as solid biofuel. The paper suggests business models that could both alleviate energy poverty in rural areas and increase the competitiveness of perennial crop (fruits, olives, vine) production. The effects of mobilizing APPR potential via business models are estimated at the micro (households’ income) and macro (number of households affected, size of the investment, tax effect, CO2eq savings) levels in the Croatian setting. Contrary to classical energy planning, the paper provides an approach that fosters local use of bioenergy by linking rural development with renewable energy end-use. The approach linked pruning energy potential with 47% of Croatian rural households which allows creating an evidence-based policy for rural development utilizing APPR as a sustainable solid biofuel. The most attractive business model for Croatian rural areas is utilization of APPR as a solid biofuel. It could be used as an energy poverty alleviation measure, allowing savings per heating season equivalent to 5%–11% of the average disposable income per household. Net APPR influence at VAT tax is estimated at 5.5 million euro·y−1. The paper proves that using average values for APPR in energy planning could be misleading. View Full-Text
Keywords: pruning; solid biofuel; energy poverty; rural development; energy planning pruning; solid biofuel; energy poverty; rural development; energy planning
MDPI and ACS Style

Kulišić, B.; Radić, T.; Njavro, M. Agro-Pruning for Energy as a Link between Rural Development and Clean Energy Policies. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4240.

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