An optimization model for energy crop supply


Pete Smith, tel. +44 1224 272702, fax +44 1224 272703, e-mail:


In this article we describe an optimization model, a mixed integer program, to determine the optimal locations and capacity sizes of biomass-based facilities in energy crop supply chains, and demonstrate its use using data for Great Britain. We show the utility of the model for planning the optimal locations of biomass-based facilities by investigating the supply of feedstock from Miscanthus for Combined Heat and Power (CHP) in Great Britain, based on data of current electricity demand. Results show that CHP cost directly influences its optimal location, and the price of bioelectricity from Miscanthus. At the coarse spatial resolution of the available energy demand data, the sale price of Miscanthus does not greatly influence the quantity of Miscanthus sold in Great Britain. Only when the hypothetical sale price of Miscanthus was closer to CHP cost, was the quantity of Miscanthus sold influenced by the variation in the sale price of Miscanthus. In future, we will apply the model using electricity and heat demand data at fine spatial scale currently being located, which will allow the implications of local production of Miscanthus for CHP to be explored.