The cultivation of crops for biomass production on good soils allows to reduce surplus production of food crops and increase the sustainability of energy production from the environmental point of view. The short rotation forestry (SRF), is only at a preliminary study level in Italy but, is already a reality in North Europe where was already developed an high planting density (6000–8000 cuttings ha -1 ) technique and a whole mechanization of plantation and biomass harvest. On the basis of this cultivation technique, it was realized as an energetic and economic evaluation of a poplar SRF in Northern Italy. In detail, they were considered data of poplar growth in a plantation for the production of two-year whips in Western Po Valley considering SRF duration of 8 years and a biomass (20 t ha −1 D.M.) harvest every 2 years. Indeed it was assumed to operate on a plantation in production (12.5% of the surface replanted every year) with a spacing 3.00 × 0.4 m (6700 cutting per hectare) that allows the use of conventional tractors. In this computing system it was pointed out a ratio between output and input energy of 13 and a cost of 80 &z.euro; t −1 of D.M. Nevertheless a positive energetic balance, the economic sustainability of poplar SRF depends, due to the present monopolistic energy management in the same countries, on political choices of chip price or public subventions to the producers.
Biomass and Bioenergy – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2009
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