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Bosque (Valdivia)

On-line version ISSN 0717-9200

Abstract

ALTAMIRANO, Adison et al. Biomass stock and potential energy for the dendroenergy development based on native forests of south-central Chile. Bosque (Valdivia) [online]. 2015, vol.36, n.2, pp.223-237. ISSN 0717-9200.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4067/S0717-92002015000200008.

Forest biomass is one of the main alternatives that Chile could promote to supply the long-term demand of energy, which can help to diversify the national energy offer. In this study we assessed the biomass availability from native forests, considering biomass extraction based on silvicultural management and environmental and legal restrictions in three regions of south-central Chile: La Araucanía, Los Ríos and Los Lagos. Based on the proposed scenario, the potential area of forest biomass decreased from 1,330,460 to 754,435 ha and the estimated forest biomass reached 31 Gg. According to these results, the electric and calorific potential energy is 26 GWh and 54 GWh, respectively. In a simulated scenario where the annual management represents 5 % of the available biomass area (37,000 ha year-1), the energy would satisfy the demand of more than 700 thousand homes. The use of forest biomass for energy production has several advantages which produce economic, social and environmental positive impacts. A key strategy for the development of this activity is related to the incentive to manage the native forests, which are mainly property of small and medium land owners. Further research on this topic should explicitly consider issues as spatial and temporal scale, accessibility, biomass quality, and socio-economic conditions of land owners.

Keywords : forest biomass; dendroenergy; non-conventional renewable energy; forest management; calorific value.

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