Business innovations and adaptation of forestry practices to bioenergy supply
The combination of increasing world energy demand as well as heightened climate change awareness and policy implementation implies that future energy needs will increasingly be met with renewable energy sources and feedstock. Forest biomass for bioenergy utilization has increased dramatically throughout Europe as different countries and regions strive to satisfy energy needs and environmental mandates with a variety of alternative and renewable energy sources. The degree to which forest biomass will continue to play a significant and increasing bioenergy role is dependent upon many economic and environmental interactions related to competing energy markets (both fossil and renewable) and the ability of the forest industry to adapt current and prior business operating practices in order to improve and maximize production efficiency.
The focus is to identify the development (improvement) potential associated with various aspects of forest biomass supply and evaluate how innovative business and technological solutions could significantly impact these evolving forest bioenergy markets. This research activity is primarily concentrated into three categories, including:
• Customers and markets of forest biomass for the future
In order to understand how current and evolving forest biomass supply chains may be effectively adapted and improved, it is first necessary to understand the broader context and environment in which all energy markets are changing and how the forest industry, both forest bioenergy and traditional forest products industries interact in this realm.
• Adaptation of forestry practices to improve biomass recovery
The focus is on examining existing forestry practices and the feasibility and potential of intensified forest biomass recovery associated with different harvesting systems.
• Business, service and integration solutions for feedstock supply
This research activity brings together technology (software) and forest energy firms (SMEs) in order to evaluate innovative and improved business and service solutions that may significantly improve forest biomass supply. This primarily involves adoption of information technology and how this new information can change existing business operations and organization in order to dramatically lower operational costs and/or improve customer service. This research activity will develop, along with the SME partners, 2 - 3 novel concepts of integration.
Eric L. Jessup
Faculty of Forest and Environmental Sciences,
Institute of Forest Economics & Dept. of Remote Sensing and Landscape Information Systems (FELIS)
Tennenbacherstr. 4, D-79106, Freiburg, Germany