Potential forest biomass and energy production at the regional scale: the case of maritime pine (Pinus pinaster Ait.) in the district of Bragança, Northeastern Portugal Conference Paper uri icon


  • Bragança is a district of low population density and low energy demand. It has, however, a relatively large forest area. These facts lead to the formulation of the hypothesis that yearly biomass production in the district of Bragança can provide the energy required for some sectors of the economy trough simple and efficient conversion in heat and/or electricity. In this paper we analyzed regional annual biomass yield in maritime pine stands, the most conspicuous forest type in the area, and confronted it with energy demand from the industry, domestic and services sectors. The analysis was performed in a spatially explicit way taking spatial variability of productivity and forest area into account. Biomass was calculated from allometric models based upon inventory data. Biomass energy content was converted into total thermal energy and electricity. Results indicated that biomass is indeed a relevant potential source of energy in the region. Maritime pine alone can annually potentially provide near 49 % of final energy demand in the district of Bragança or 84% of final energy demand of the domestic, industry and services sectors. Also, biomass yield is able to offer 60% of all the electricity demand in the district of Bragança. Carrazeda de Ansiães, Vimioso, Torre de Moncorvo, Freixo de Espada à Cinta, Vinhais e Mogadouro can be self sufficient in this form of energy.

publication date

  • January 1, 2012

published in