Energy crops potential at regional scale: biomass yield and GHG flows
Growing arboreous and herbaceous species for energetic conversion allows to reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gases emissions. Moreover, new energetic crops can provide an innovative source of income for agriculture, a sector highly sustained by subsidies in Italy and in the EU. In this paper we propose a methodology to assess energetic potentialities of short rotation forestry at regional scale. The method is based on the integration of GIS data with data derived from the agricultural census that describe current land use. We carry out the analysis for an Italian region, Emilia-Romagna. We show how the sustainable growth of energy crops, with an optimized network of conversion facilities distributed on the territory, may significantly contribute to the local energetic supply and to the greenhouse gases reduction target set by the Kyoto Protocol.