Maps are being developed to find the most suitable areas for growing hardwoods for bioenergy
Identifying the Most Suitable Areas for Hardwood Biofuels Production
Our goal is to identify the most suitable lands for hybrid polar production in the Northwest. To do so, we are using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to build a Natural Resource Lands Database. This database will be used to identify areas with the greatest potential to support poplar bioenergy farms.
This land suitability study and resulting database will help researchers understand the geographic distribution of potential poplar growing sites and the available acreage that could support a drop-in biofuels industry.
Data collection for the identification of suitable areas for poplar production is essentially complete. We are in the process of integrating information on soils, precipitation, temperature, topography, land use, ownership, and transportation. We have started building the public portal for access to the data (http://depts.washington.edu/wagis/data/ahbnw/test.html). In addition, we are working on creating ways for researchers to use the data in their own GIS analyses.
The next steps are to develop the specific criteria for the identification of preferable and suitable areas, and to work with the Feedstock Team to confirm those metrics for analysis.