Sustainability assessment of a self-consumption wood-energy chain on small scale for heat generation in Central Italy
Verani, S.; Sperandio, G.; Picchio, R.; Marchi, E.; Costa, C.
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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.