Biomass district heating (BDH) has the potential to stimulate rural economies in the Tug Hill region of New York State by establishing a local industry and providing lower cost heat compared to the local alternative, #2 fuel oil. However, the competitiveness and economic impact of BDH networks in rural villages is largely unknown. This study proposes a methodology to provide initial assessments of the feasibility of BDH in rural communities. BDH would deliver heat below the cost of the local alternative in eight of the ten study villages examined. Capital costs comprised over 80% of the project costs, illuminating the importance of reaching a sufficient heat density; however, specific building heat was a stronger determinant of a village's feasibility. An input-output analysis determined that BDH would generate $18.6 million in output and create 143 jobs throughout the three county region, a significant impact if concentrated around the study villages.
|Advisor:||Wagner, John E.|
|Commitee:||Newman, David H., Volk, Timothy A.|
|School:||State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry|
|Department:||Forest Resources Management|
|School Location:||United States -- New York|
|Source:||MAI 55/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Forestry, Economics, Energy|
|Keywords:||Biomass district heating, Economic impact, Feasibility, Input-output analysis, Rural development|
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