Economic and sustainable biomass potential

Economic Biomass Potential

The economic biomass potential (Thrän and Pfeiffer 2013; WGBU 2009) describes the share of the technical biomass potential that can be exploited economically under consideration of economic framework conditions. These include subsidies, pay-as-you-go systems (e.g. EEG) as well as taxes and costs for other forms of energy (e.g. oil price). The economic conditions and thus the economic potential are subject to temporal fluctuations and the influence of political measures. For this reason, the technical biomass potential is usually taken into consideration.

Consider in which cases the consideration of the economic biomass potential can be meaningful.

Sustainable Biomass Potential

The sustainable biomass potential (Thrän and Pfeiffer 2013; WGBU 2009) further limits the technical potential according to sustainability aspects. Here, ecological and socio-economic factors are taken into account, such as nature conservation, landscape aesthetics or resource-specific aspects. The differentiation between sustainable and technical potential is often difficult, since in many cases - depending on the author or project specifications - sustainability factors are taken into account when determining the technical biomass potential.

Example wood use: In addition to the legally anchored restrictions (e.g. no use in the core zones of national parks), further restrictions on use are taken into account, such as leaving certain quantities of dead wood in the forest.

In preparation for the exercises, consider to what extent you would like to consider sustainability aspects.

In addition to the potential types described, you will find further terms in the literature, such as exploitable biomass potential. Further information on these potential types can be found, for example, at (Thrän and Pfeiffer 2013; WGBU 2009).