Modelling a Dynamic Forest Fuel Market Focusing on Wood Chips: A Spatial Agent-based Approach to Simulate Competition among Heating Plants in the Province of Carinthia, Austria

Johannes Scholz, Florian Breitwieser, Peter Mandl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Sustainability and renewable resources are attracting increased attention in the energy supply sector. This paper elaborates on the application of agent-based modelling methods to simulate forest fuel markets and supply chains. More precisely, it aims to simulate the market for wood chips for heating purposes, based on a sustainable forest growth and yield model, in conjunction with cognitive agents that act in the market. In the agent-based model, three types of agents are defined: forest owners (supply), biomass heating plant (demand), and ‘traders’, connecting supply and demand. Forest enterprises can decide on forest operations based on the state of the forest fuel market – e.g. considering the price for wood chips. Each biomass heating plant has an associated ‘trader’ that tries to fulfil the demand for forest biomass while minimizing the transport distances and the cost for the wood chips. The paper discusses the results of a simulation scenario in the Province of Carinthia, Austria. The simulation results are analysed with respect to space and time concerning biomass transport distance, transport patterns and remaining biomass stock.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-396
Number of pages14
JournalGI_Forum - Journal for Geographic Information Science
Volume2017
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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