From inventory to consumer biomass availability - the ITOC-model
With the rising demand for energy from renewable sources, up-to-date information about the available amount of biomass on a sustainable basis coming from forests became of interest to a wide group of stakeholders. The complexity of answering the question about amounts of biomass potentials from forests thereby increases from the regional to the European level. The described ITOC model aims at providing a tool to develop a comparable data basis for the actual biomass potentials for consumption. The ITOC model uses a harmonized net annual increment from the National Forest Inventories as a default value for the potential harvestable volume of timber. The model then calculates the total theoretical potential of biomass resources from forests. By accounting for harvesting restrictions and losses, the theoretical potential of biomass resources from forests is reduced and the actual biomass potentials for consumption estimated. The results from ITOC model calculations account for the difference between the amounts of wood measured in the forests and the actual biomass potentials which might be available for consumption under the model assumptions. The gap between forest resource assessments and biomass potentials which are available for consumption can be addressed by using the ITOC model calculation results.