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Licentiate thesis, 2003

Modelling of the potential for energy crop utilisation in northern Sweden

Larsson, Sylvia


Within this thesis, a methodology for estimation of the potential supply of biomass feedstock from the energy crop reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) is summarized and discussed. In the studied area, Västerbotten County in northern Sweden, agriculture is dominated by dairy and beef production, abandoned farmland constitutes 23% of the total arable land area, and EU subsidies have a strong influence on the profitability of different agricultural branches. A partial equilibrium model with a break-even price approach was used to create supply curves for reed canary grass under the assumption that reed canary grass would be produced if the net return equalled or exceeded the current land use. Supply curves were created for three different scenarios; current EU subsidy scheme, proposed subsidy scheme of 2004, and without EU subsidies. To quantify the restoration costs for making abandoned farmland available for energy crop cultivation, an orthophoto interpretation method was developed, and the real restoration costs for a sample of fields was determined by a fieldwork inventory. From orthophoto interpretation abandoned fields could be divided into two different classes with a mean estimated restoration cost per hectare of 173 SEK and 3990 SEK, respectively. The mean annual restoration costs of abandoned fields were used as an opportunity price for reed canary grass production on abandoned farmland. Under the current subsidy scheme, the lowest reed canary grass farmgate fuel price was 56 SEK MWh-1 for a feedstock production equalling 0.36 TWh. Under the proposed subsidy scheme of 2004, a farmgate fuel price of 99 SEK MWh-1 was required for 1.1 TWh of feedstock. With no subsidies, the lowest break-even price was 115 SEK MWh-1. In all scenarios, a biofuel feedstock production from reed canary grass equal to 1.3 TWh would be available at a farmgate fuel price of 116 SEK MWh-1. By the use of GIS tools, the spatial distribution of feedstock supplies was illustrated and analysed. The reed canary grass supply would be concentrated to the coastal area of the county, which also has the most developed infrastructure and the highest population density.


lic.-avh; phalaris arundinacea; fuel crops; biofuels; reclamation; costs; supply functions; economic analysis; sweden

Published in

Publisher: Unit of Biomass Technology and Chemistry, Swedish Univ. of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Larsson, Sylvia
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Biomass Technology and Chemistry

UKÄ Subject classification

Wood Science

URI (permanent link to this page)