ForestSim: An Agent-Based Simulation for Bioenergy Sustainability Assessment

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Department of Social Sciences; Center for Data Sciences


Global development must become more sustainable. To do so, society must adopt a sustainable energy alternative to fossil fuels (Dincer 2000). Second-generation bioenergy from woody biomass (trees and other woody plants) offers a promising alternative that can avoid both the inevitable finite supply problems and climate change impacts of conventional energy (Hoogwijk et al. 2003). However, the sustainability of second-generation bioenergy depends greatly on the availability of a reliable woody biomass supply (Becker et al. 2009). The provisioning of biomass feedstock requires significant land-use land-cover change in the form of forest harvesting activity that greatly impacts local forest ecology, the viability of bioenergy markets, and other socially valued forest uses. These overlapping and often competing interests make estimating the availability of biomass and assessing its sustainability impacts a highly complex task (Berndes et al. 2003). The current chapter provides a framework for using Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) to assess the sustainability of bioenergy production in a way that accounts for this inherent complexity.

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017. Publisher's version of record:

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Advances in Complex Societal, Environmental and Engineered Systems