|Sustainable timber utilization and its contribution to economic value creation and carbon emission reduction in Suriname
|Wood; Utilization; Energy; Renewable
|Tag der mündlichen Prüfung:
Logging and sawmilling activities in Suriname are subject to low recovery rates leading to a significant waste of valuable resources. This study aims to quantify the wood volume left unutilized from the country’s allowable cut of standing timber stock and harvest and sawmill residue. It then assesses the use of woody biomass energy as a fossil fuel substitute to improve resource efficiency and reduce fossil fuel emissions while also creating a financial benefit for the country overall. Data for the period 2000 – 2017 is analyzed. To do this, the utilized harvesting volume per ha, recovery rates of log harvesting and sawmilling were calculated. According to the Surinamese logging regulations, the allowable sustainable harvesting volume per ha is 25 m3 (Wergner, 2012). SBB data on annual harvesting compartments and harvested logs for the studied period show an average harvesting volume of 6 m3 per ha. Based on the assessment of 54 trees, a harvesting recovery rate of 51% was found. According to Landburg (2015), the Surinamese sawmill recovery rate is 44%. Analyses using the results of these calculations and SBB log harvesting data revealed an average annual valuable woody biomass volume of 2 million m3 remained unutilized. This is about 600% higher than the average annual marketed wood volume.
Log composition is one of the factors that is decisive for the commercial value and utilization degree of logs in the sawmill. To gain insight into the log composition, the proportion of heartwood, sapwood and bark in logs is determined. A total number of 162 logs with the volume of 532 m3 distributed over 13 commercial timber species were measured and analyzed. This revealed a mean bark thickness of 2.07 cm and a mean sapwood thickness of 4.14 cm. The log volume contribution by the different components are (1) bark 6%, (2) sapwood 24% and (3) heartwood 70%.
Energy is an essential input in the economic development process. In the framework of climate change and the efforts to reduce emissions from fossil fuel, the expansion of renewable energies is undisputed. In addition to wind, solar and hydropower, bioenergy plays an important role here. The share of biomass energy in the total of energy consumption is increasingly emphasized (IEA, 2022). In the context of the development of a biomass energy-based economy, it is relevant to acquire insight into the relationship between economic development and energy wood consumption. To achieve this the relationship between economic development and energy wood consumption is assessed at the global, the global regional, as well as the Surinamese national and district levels. At the global and global regional levels the trend of the GDP is compared with the total energy and wood energy consumption. This analysis uses data from the Worldbank Group, Enerdata and FAO (Worldbank, 2018; Enerdata, 2018; FAO, 1999-2018). On the national Surinamese level, the GDP is compared with the consumption of electricity and energy wood, using data from the General Bureau of Statistics (ABS, 2000 – 2018; ABS, 2018). For the districts in Suriname, the development level was assessed using the human development indicators of the UNDP (ABS, 2014). The development trend and energy and energy wood consumption for the different global regions is very diverse. Africa, Asia and Oceania show a high GDP growth. Asia and Africa had parallel to the GDP growth a high total energy consumption growth. Europe showed a low total energy consumption, while the consumption of this in North America declined. Asia, North America and Oceania showed a declined energy wood consumption trend. While the energy wood consumption in Africa, Europe and South America grew. Analysis for Suriname showed a high GDP growth together with high electricity and cooking gas consumption, with a declined consumption of energy wood.
The district level analysis resulted in categorizing them in relative highly and relative poorly developed districts. This showed that the poorly developed districts have high fuel wood consumption rates and are the most forested but also districts with high existence of tribal communities. With one exception (Wanica) the relative highly developed districts have low fuel wood consumption rates.
The unutilized woody biomass could be partly used as fuel wood for cooking by the households and partly as input material for the generation of electricity by a biomass power plant. Three potential locations for the setup of the power plant were identified: (1) Nickerie, (2) Para and (3) Marowijne. These locations are evaluated using the following selection criteria; (1) description of the surrounding area, (2) availability of land to setup the power plant, (3) accessibility of the location in terms of availability of infrastructure facilities such as roads, rivers, channels and harbors, (4) supply of raw material (wood), (5) existence of transmission network for the distribution of electricity and (6) availability of labour force. The result of the evaluation criteria showed the Para district to be the best location for establishing a biomass power plant.
The type of technology chosen for the biomass power plant is the conventional grate boiler with a direct fire combustion system. Due to its operational capability and development status, this type of technology is commonly used for investments in biomass power plants that run on wood material.
Three scenarios were studied for the setup of the biomass power plant:
Scenario 1, whereby the future increased electricity demand is covered with electricity generated by a biomass power plant. Over a period of 10 years, investments will be made in 6 units with a total capital investment of US$ 561 million. The maximum generation capacity will be 2.7 Twh. The annual utilized wood volume will be 930,300 m3, and the annual saving of diesel and cooking gas will be 246 million liter and 47 million kg, respectively. The annual fossil fuel emission reduction will amount to 803,400 tons of CO2. The total financial benefit by saving fossil fuel, utilizing unrecovered woody biomass and the generation of carbon credit will be US$ 306.9 million. The green job creation will be 2,561.
Scenario 2, whereby all fossil fuel-based electricity production (diesel power generators) is replaced with a biomass power plant while also maintaining the existing hydropower plant at the Afobaka dam. In this case, investments will be made over a period of 14 years in 8 units with a total capital investment of US$ 748 million. The maximum generation capacity will be 3.6 Twh. Annual utilized wood volume will be 1.1 million m3, and the annual saving of diesel and cooking gas will be 326 million liter and 47 million kg, respectively. The annual fossil fuel emission reduction will be 1 million tons of CO2. The total financial benefit by saving fossil fuel, utilizing unrecovered woody biomass and the generation of carbon credit will be US$ 397 million. The green job creation will be 3,352.
Scenario 3, whereby the total volume of unutilized woody biomass is used to generate electricity with a biomass power plant. In this case, investments will be made over a period of 14 years in 15 units with a total capital investment of US$ 1.4 billion. The maximum generation capacity will be 6.7 Twh. Annual utilized wood volume will be 2 million m3, and the annual saving of diesel and cooking gas will be 615 million liter and 47 million kg, respectively. Annual fossil fuel emission reduction will be 1.8 million ton of CO2. The total financial benefit by saving fossil fuel, utilizing unrecovered woody biomass and the generation of carbon credit will be US$ 730 million. Over 4,000 green jobs will be created.
The current study shows the potential of using currently unutilized woody biomass for both energy supply and emission reduction for Suriname. Intensifying the use of unrecovered wood could make a significant contribution to the avoidance of fossil fuels, emission reductions and Suriname’s efforts to meet net-zero emissions.
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|Elektronische Dissertationen und Habilitationen
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