CASE STUDY DETAIL: Emilia Romagna Region (EM), Italy

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Emilia Romagna Region (EM), Italy

Project time

January – February 2008


Main scope of the study was to contribute to the definition of a methodology for the definition and delineation of bioenergy districts. The analysis of Regione Emilia Romagna was conducted in order to test and exemplify the elements of the proposed methodology.

Institutional settings

RENEWED Project - Work Package 2 - Identification and definition of Bio-energy Districts (BD). Task 2.5 Analysis of info & identification of BDs. Task 2.6 Validation/Tuning of the BD analysis model.


Raster analysis resolution: 300 x 300 m grid cell; Sub-national units: County (Comune, 341 units). In addition, sub-provincial territorial units called Regioni Agrarie (agricultural regions) were used in relation to agricultural crop statistics.

Demand features

The demand for woody biomass produced in the WISDSOM Italy, relative to ER, was here complemented by non woody biomass consumption.

Supply features

The potential available supply of woody biomass produced in the WISDSOM Italy, relative to ER, was here complemented by dry and wet non woody biomass sources:
Direct sources: Crop residues at harvesting sites; Dedicated crops
Indirect sources: Residues from agro-industries; Residues from livestock industries
In addition, a separate supply scenario was considered including ER’s bioenergy crops potential assuming that the unutilized agricultural areas and the “set aside” fraction are dedicated to SRF and to annual bioenergy crops, respectively (analysis conducted by Fiorese et al, 2007).

Integration features

Balance between supply and demand was assessed spatially, based on raster data analysis, and at county level, considering current consumption and potential supply of dry biomass (woody and non) as well as various hypothetical levels of dedicated bioenergy cropping.

Woodshed/bio-shed analysis

The delineation of bioenergy districts was based on woodshed analysis based on selected hypothetical biomass plants (located in dismissed sugar processing plants) with given capacities and various supply scenarios implying only current biomass productivity as well as various dedicated bioenergy cropping levels.

Integration with other aspects

The “conventional” WISDOM layers were combined with potential bioenergy crops (SRF of poplars and robinia spp and sorghum) that could be established on unutilized agricultural lands and/or on “set aside” farm areas.


The factors that determine the size and delineation of a bio-district, in its first-level definition, depend primarily on the geographic relation between potential sustainable biomass supply and current or projected biomass demand.
Under this general perspective, two main directions of analysis may be considered: (i) bio-district delineation aiming at the definition of the sustainable supply zone of a predefined center(s) of consumption or (ii) aiming at the definition of the most suitable location and size for a consumption unit such as biomass plant in relation to the geographic distribution and accessibility of biomass supply resources. In both cases the essential ingredients of analysis are the spatial distribution of biomass surplus determined by potential productivity and current consumption, and accessibility factors.


Work carried out by Rudi Drigo and Nicola Stanzani for CRPV (Soc. Coop.) in the framework of the WP2 of IEE Project RENEWED.
Bio-energy district identification –case study Italy.