Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Master of Forestry (MF)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Forestry

First Advisor

Dr. Marco A. Contreras

Abstract

Dedicated energy crops have the potential to supply a sustainable biomass feedstock to support the bioenergy industry. However, a major constraint for promoting energy crops has been the availability of land for establishing energy crops. In this study, we developed a spatially-explicit model to identify suitable and economically feasible sites for establishing energy crops based on biomass price, production costs and site-specific biomass productivity. Results from our study provided an objective evaluation of factors that influence the amount and spatial distribution of land suitable for establishing energy crops. In addition, our model had the ability to capture variation across the feasible areas because of changing biomass market and policy conditions. By performing a sensitivity analysis with different market and policy scenarios, we were able to identify the most effective and favorable scenarios that could maximize the available land for producing energy crops.

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