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Assessment of sustainable biomass potentials in BioenNW regions

Assessment of sustainable biomass potential in BioenNW regions

First results from GIS-based modelling at KIT-ITAS

KIT-ITAS has developed a Geographic Information System-based (GIS) model to assess the sustainable potentials and the corresponding spatial distribution for different types of organic residues and wastes, e.g. agricultural and municipal waste. This model is currently being applied to the five BioenNW regions – West Midlands (UK), Eindhoven (the Netherlands), North Rhine-Westphalia (Germany), Wallonia (Belgium), and Île-de-France (France).

So far, results are available for the following residue types:

  • Residues from agricultural crop cultivation (cereal straw, residues from root crop cultivation, residues from oil plant cultivation)
  • Solid and liquid manure from agricultural animal husbandry (cattle manure, pig manure)
  • Municipal waste fractions (organic kitchen waste, green waste from gardens and parks, paper waste, wood waste).

Further residue types, e.g. residues from pastures and residual forest wood, will be included in the further course of the project. Besides to theoretical potentials, sustainable potentials are calculated considering ecological and/or techno-economic restrictions in a spatial context. Depending on the available maps data, the biomass potentials are calculated for a spatial resolution of 1 km x 1 km and 10 km x 10 km grid cells respectively.

Subsequently, exemplary results for agricultural residues are presented. Results cover total biomass amounts for the respective model regions as well as the spatial distribution of the biomass.

For all model regions, cereal straw shows the highest sustainable potential (dry mass) amongst the agricultural crop residues. The total sustainable cereal straw potential accounts for approx. 3.2 mio. twet/a in NRW, 1.6 mio. twet/a in the Île-the-France, 1.1 mio. twet/a in Wallonia,  1.0 mio. twet/a in the West Midlands, and 0.2 mio. twet/a in the South Netherlands. The above figure shows exemplary results for the spatial distribution of the sustainable cereal straw potential (1 km x 1 km grid cells) in the BioenNW model regions.

The highest amount of solid manure from cattle and pigs is calculated for NRW (approx. 3.0 mio. twet/a), followed by Wallonia (approx. 2.6 mio. twet/a), the South Netherlands (approx. 2.4 mio. twet/a), the West Midlands (approx. 1.1 mio. twet/a), and the Île-de-France (0.05 mio. twet/a). For all of the considered regions the bigger part of solid manure goes back to cattle breeding: for Wallonia, the Île-the-France and the West Midlands around 95 % of solid manure comes from cattle breeding. For NRW around 30 % and for the South Netherlands around 40 % of solid manure comes from pigs.

For liquid manure from cattle and pigs, the highest amount occurs in the South Netherlands (approx. 22.4 m3/a) and NRW (approx. 21.6 m3/a NRW), followed by Wallonia (10.9 m3/a), the West Midlands (6.2 m3/a) and the Île-de-France (0.3 m3/a). While in Wallonia, the Île-the-France and the West Midlands, around 95 % of liquid manure comes from cattle, in the South Netherlands and NRW 58 % and 52 % of liquid manure goes back to pigs.

In order to make the results from GIS-based modelling available to e.g. local stakeholders, the modelling results from KIT-ITAS are incorporated in a Web-GIS application, which is currently being developed at Birmingham City University (BCU). The application relates the data to opportunities to develop bioenergy projects. A first prototype of this Web-GIS-application is planned to be available in March 2014.

Words by Dr. Martina Haase, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS)
Karlsruhe, Germany