The use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for understanding the geographic context of bioenergy supplies is discussed and a regional-scale, GIS-based modeling system for estimating potential biomass supplies from energy crops is described. While GIS models can capture geographic variation that may in?uence biomass costs and supplies, GIS models are not likely to handle uncertainty well and are often limited by the lack of spatially explicit data. The presented modeling system estimates the costs and environmental implications of supplying speci?ed amounts of energy crop feedstock across a state. The system considers where energy crops could be grown, the spatial variability in their yield, and transportation costs associated with acquiring feedstock for an energy facility. The modeling system was used to estimate potential switchgrass costs and supplies in eleven US states. Transportation costs increased with increased facility demand and were lowest in Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota and highest in South Carolina, Missouri, Georgia, and Alabama. Farmgate feedstock costs were lowest in Alabama, North Dakota and South Dakota and highest in Iowa and Nebraska. Across the eleven states, delivered feedstock costs ranged from $33 to $55/dry tonne to supply a facility requiring 100,000 tonne/yr. Delivered feedstock costs for a 630,000 tonne/yr facility ranged from $36 to $58/dry tonne.

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Robin L. Graham
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Graham Robin L.
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