, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 180-192

Quantifying GWI of Wood Pellet Production in the Southern United States and Its Subsequent Utilization for Electricity Production in The Netherlands/Florida

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Abstract

This study attempts to determine global warming impact (GWI) of imported wood pellets from the Southern United States for electricity production in The Netherlands. An attempt is also made to determine GWI of utilizing produced wood pellets within the state of Florida for electricity generation instead of exports. A life-cycle approach is adopted to determine overall GWIs of both the cases. Economic objectives of forest landowners are also incorporated to determine biomass (pulpwood and harvesting residues) availability from a hectare of slash pine plantation. The GWI of a unit of electricity produced at a power plant located at Geertruidenberg, The Netherlands and Gainesville, Florida was 296.4 and 177.5 g of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas, respectively. An overall saving of 72.6% in greenhouse gas emissions was estimated for every kilowatt-hour of electricity generated using imported wood pellets in The Netherlands when compared with coal-based electricity. This value was found to be 82.4% if produced wood pellets are utilized within Florida for electricity generation instead of exports. A need exists to evaluate the potential of other feedstocks for wood pellet production like understory forest biomass. Additionally, macroeconomic and ecological impacts of utilizing forest biomass for wood pellet production needs to be quantified.