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Browsing by Author "Aalto, Anssi"

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  • Aalto, Anssi (2013)
    Bioenergy has taken over a significant role in Finnish society in the past decade. European Union’s joint climate targets, extreme natural phenomena, as well as the depletion of non-renewable resources and the rise in the non-renewable resources prices have increased the use of bioenergy almost a necessity. One of the best bioenergy sources is wood energy, which can be obtained from stumps, logging residues and from small tree harvesting in form of wood chips. Energy wood has become one of the timber assortments in the forest sector, but it must be remembered that the acquisition is strongly associated with the conventional industrial wood harvesting. There is lots of potential in the use and procurement of forest energy. Production of local energy from the nearby forests in the local energy plant provides employment for local people and brings tax revenue to municipalities. At the same time the forest industry gets timber and private forest owners’ receive income from managed forests. The forest energy’s future importance for the society cannot be understated. Objective of this study was to explore the Stora Enso Forest’s gold and silver star clients’ willingness to supply wood-based biomass for bioenergy and look for factors that affect the decision. In addition, it was explored if there would be new ways of marketing forest energy to the landowners. Stratified sample of Stora Enso’s client record was done for the study. From the record, 1000 landowners were picked and interviewed by telephone in the spring 2012. The questionnaire was answered by 609 forest owners and percentage response rate was 63. The respondents differed from the general forest owners' in such a way that they were older, owned major forest areas as well as the men were over-represented. The results indicate that the willingness to sell forest energy (68%) is clearly lower than the willingness to sell raw wood (94%) in the future, but the numbers of unaware (15%) is quite high. Forest owners' clear favorite of forest energy harvesting methods is energy wood harvesting, which was chosen as the best choice for 70 percent of the respondents. Equally clear is the harvesting method which was the most disliked, stump lifting. It was chosen as the best alternative by just over four percent. Forest owners' price expectations about energy wood are quite high. Only one-third of the forest owners are satisfied with the current price level, which is effected by state subsidies. Approximately 13 percent of respondents are out of the forest energy market completely because of unrealistically high price expectations. The rise of the forest energy price was also the biggest single factor to increase the willingness to supply wood-based biomass for bioenergy. In this study, forest owners are concerned about of climate change and they are hoping to increase the use of forest biomass for the energy production in Finland. Particularly the local use of wood chips was valued high. The majority of forest owners consider the sale of forest energy as a climate conservation act. There are a lots of information requirements, in particular related to energy wood harvesting. Many landowners are concerned about nutrient losses, harvesting marks and the forest energy pricing.