Spatial hot spots and clusters of bioenergy combined with socio-economic analysis in Switzerland

Authors: Mohr, L., Burg, V., Thees, O., and Trutnevyte, E.

A fast and effective uptake of bioenergy can be fostered by identifying regions where both the resources availability and socio-economic contexts are suitable. This paper uses cluster and hot spot analysis on the spatially-explicit data of bioenergy potential in 2294 Swiss municipalities. The identified clusters, hot spots and cold spots of municipalities in terms of bioenergy are then assessed for their socio-economic characteristics. As a result, five municipality clusters (groups) with similar bioenergy potential structure in Switzerland are identified: (1) forest wood, (2) manure, (3) mixed agriculture, (4) low potential and (5) anthropogenic bioenergy municipalities. Swiss bioenergy hot spots lie in urban or intensely farmed areas of the Central Plateau, while the cold spots are located in the Alps. The socio-economic analysis shows that factors such as household income, political orientation and population density differ strongly between various clusters, hot spots and cold spots. These results help to find areas where new bioenergy projects are best located from a resource and socio-economic perspective and allow developing bioenergy promotion strategies that are tailored to local circumstances.

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Biomass for Swiss Energy Future