Feasibility assessment of poplar bioenergy systems in the Southern Europe

Carles M. Gasol, Sergio Martínez, Miquel Rigola, Joan Rieradevall, Assumpció Anton, Juan Carrasco, Pilar Ciria, Xavier Gabarrell

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63 Citations (Scopus)


A detailed reliability assessment of bioenergy production systems based on poplar cultivation was made. The aim of this assessment was to demonstrate the Economic feasibility of implementing poplar biomass production for power generation in Spain. The assessment considers the following chain of energy generation: cultivation and harvesting, and transportation and electricity generation in biomass power plants (10, 25 and 50 MW). Twelve scenarios were analysed in accordance with the following: two harvesting methods (high density packed stems and chip production in the field), two crop distributions around the power plant and three power plant sizes. The results show that the cost of biomass delivered at power plant ranges from 18.65 to 23.96 € Mg-1 dry basis. According to power plant size, net profits range from 3 to 22 million € per yr. Sensibility analyses applied to capital cost at the power plant and to biomass production in the field demonstrate that they do not affect the feasibility of these systems. Reliability is improved if benefits through selling CO2 emission credits are taken into account. This study clears up the Economic uncertainty of poplar biomass energy systems that already has been accepted as environmentally friendlier and as offering better energetic performance. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-812
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Energy crops
  • Final biomass cost
  • Power plant
  • Supply chain


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