DBPapers
DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017/53/S21.045

EVALUATION OF ECONOMIC POTENTIAL OF GRASSLANDS

A. Auzins
Wednesday 13 September 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 17th International Multidisciplinary Scientific GeoConference SGEM 2017, www.sgem.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-10-2 / ISSN 1314-2704, 29 June - 5 July, 2017, Vol. 17, Issue 53, 361-368 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgem2017/53/S21.045

ABSTRACT

The article presents a novel approach to the evaluation of the economic potential of grasslands. The economic potential of grasslands is evaluated by assessing the heat energy potential of grass (both in energy and monetary terms), based on two products – methane (biogas) and grass pellets. This approach provides an alternative to the assessment of the economic potential of grasslands, and it is specially intended for situations when grasslands are unmanaged due to low demand for grass biomass as a fodder. The estimated economic potential of grasslands reflects a theoretical potential that could be achieved in case of perfectly efficient technologies. The approach has been applied for estimating the economic potential of grasslands in two municipalities of Latvia. According to the results of the practical calculations, the grassland potential is quite high: the heat energy potential of grass per hectare is comparable to the average heat and electric energy consumption of a household in Latvia. The transformation of grass into pellets provides higher economic potential of grasslands than in the case of its conversion into methane. The results of the practical estimates imply that it is necessary to develop more efficient technologies to utilize the economic potential of grasslands better.

Keywords: economic potential, grasslands, heat energy potential