An evaluation of the socio-economic impact of timber production with and without the inclusion of biomass energy production

Ofoegbu, Chidiebere (2010-03)

Thesis (MScFor (Forest and Wood Science))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The discussion on climate change is leading to a re-evaluation of tree plantations in South Africa; prompting the adoption of forest bioenergy system as one of the cost effective ‘carbon mitigation options’. In an analysis of this changing paradigm, emphasis was placed on the socio-economic aspects of integrated commercial tree plantations and forest bioenergy systems with special attention to harvest residues recovery for bioelectricity production and construction and operation of a bioelectricity plant. The study also explored the direct and indirect benefits that adjacent communities derive from tree plantations in South Africa in order to determine the potential impact of integrated timber and bioelectricity production on rural livelihood and conventional forestry operations. Structured questionnaires and in-depth interviews were used in randomly sampling twelve villages on Mondi tree plantations in the Piet Retief and Iswepe areas of South Africa. Six villages from each area were selected; and a systematic random sampling of ten households per village was carried out. The possibility of using harvest residues from final clear felling from these plantations for bioelectricity production was examined. The study developed and described a scenario for a five megawatt bioelectricity generation facility, requiring an annual volume of 19,569.85 dry tonnes of residues as feedstock for its operation. The study revealed that adjacent rural communities to Mondi plantations in Piet Retief and Iswepe areas enjoy direct benefits such as employment opportunities, utilization of harvest residues, utilization of non-timber resources, and free accommodation. Indirect benefits that these communities enjoy include: free farmland and graze-land and various social benefits. Issues of concern and dislike such as: lack of electricity; poor health and sanitation and transportation problems were also identified. Using NPV and IRR, the study estimated the economic impacts of integrated pulpwood and bioelectricity production, compared to conventional pulpwood production operation. The study concluded that integrated pulpwood and harvest residue recovery for bioelectricity production is a profitable means of producing renewable energy. The approach was found to increase the profitability of conventional forest operations.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Besprekings rondom klimaatsverandering lei tot ‘n her-evaluasie van boom plantasies in Suid Afrika wat aanleiding gee tot die aanvaarding van bio-energie stelsels as een van die koste effektiewe “koolstof versagtende opsies”. In ‘n ontleding van hierdie paradigma verandering, is klem geplaas op die sosio-ekonomiese aspekte van die integrasie van boom plantasies en bos bio-energie stelsels. Spesiale aandag is gegee aan onginningsafval herwinning vir bio-energie produksie en die konstruksie en werking van ‘n bio-elektriese kragsentrale. Die studie ondersoek ook die direkte en indirekte voordele wat gemeenskappe, aangrensend aan boom plantasies in Suid Afrika verkry, om sodoende die potensiële effek van geintegreerde hout en bio-elektriese produksie op landelike lewensbestaan en konvensionele bosbou operasies te bepaal. Gestruktureerde vraelyste en indiepte onderhoude is gebruik om ‘n lukraakte steekproef van twaalf dorpies op Mondi boom plantasies in die Piet Retief en Iswepe areas van Suid Afrika uit te voer. Ses dorpies in elke area is gekies en ‘n sistematiese lukraakte steekproef van tien huishoudings per dorpie is uitgevoer. Die moontlikheid om ontginningsafval van finale kaalkap van hierdie plantasies vir bio-elektrisiteit te gebruik is ook ondersoek. Die studie het ‘n senario ontwikkel en beskryf van ‘n vyf megawatt bio-elektriese kragsentrale wat ‘n jaarlikse volume van 11,708 droë ton ontginningsafval benodig as voermateriaal vir kragopwekking. Die studie het getoon dat aangrensende landelike gemeenskappe langs Mondi plantasies in die Piet Retief en Iswepe areas direkte voordele soos werksgeleenthede, gebruik van ontginningsafval, gebruik van nie-hout hulpbronne en gratis akkommodasie geniet. Indirekte voordele wat gemeenskappe geniet sluit in gratis toegang to landbou grond en weiding, sowel as sosiale voordele. Probleemfaktore waarmee hulle saamleef is ‘n gebrek aan elektrisiteit, swak gesondheids en sanitasie dienste en vervoerprobleme. Deur die gebruik van NPV en IRR analitiese metodes is die ekonomiese impak van geintegreerde pulphout en bio-elektrisiteits produksie bepaal en vergelyk met konfensionele pulphout produksie. Die gevolgtrekking is dat geintegreerde pulphout en ontginningsafval herwinning vir bio-elektrisiteit produksie ‘n winsgewende manier van hernubare energie produksie is. Die benadering kan die winsgewendheid van konfensionele bosbou operasies verbeter.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/4111
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