Building Agro-Energy Supply Chains in the Basilicata Region: Technical and Economic Evaluation of Interchangeability between Fossil and Renewable Energy Sources
In this study, we present a model for the implementation of agro-energy chains based on the actual availability of forest biomass and the real demand for energy (heat) in the area of the Basilicata region, Italy. The demand for energy has been estimated by drawing on the database of the Ministry of Economic Development or by calculating the Annual Energy Requirement (AER) index, while for the estimate of the available forest biomass, reference was made to the public forest lands managed according to forestry management plans. The collected data were cross-checked with a view to detecting the technical and economic feasibility of district heating systems. The technical evaluation has mainly focused on the energetic and plant aspects, while the economic assessment was directed to defining the cost effectiveness criteria [Net Present Value (NPV), Internal Rate of Return (IRR), Payback Period] that can measure the profitability of the investment. In the economic evaluation we also included the national public incentives, designed to encourage the production of energy from renewable sources in compliance with the international agreements signed by Italy for the reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs).
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