The City of Guelph is relevant to this study due to the local government's interest in future renewable energy technologies. One of their initiatives within their Community Energy Plan includes a transition to a sustainable energy economy (City of Guelph, 2007). Biofuel production could prove to be a potential path towards achieving that initiative. Within this study there are also other large urban centers including Kitchener-Waterloo, and the western side of the Greater Toronto Area which may also benefit from the information this study will produce.
The study area being analyzed is located in southwestern Ontario and includes the counties of Wellington, Peel, Perth, Dufferin, and Waterloo. The population and land area of each county can be observed in Table 1. These counties were selected based on their proximity to Guelph and the diversity of agricultural production. They also contain additional forest resources which may be extremely useful for additional biomass resources.
The study area will be assessed based on its potential yields of second-generation crop biomass and forest biomass, which will help to determine the best location for a potential biorefinery. A map of the study area can be observed in Figure 1. This map illustrates the extent of potential resources available through different types of land use. The City of Guelph boundaries have been outlined in order to visually demonstrate its proximity to potential biofuel resources. As of 2011, the population of Guelph was 121,688 people with an area of 87.2 square kilometers (Statistics Canada, 2011).