Farmers' Attitudes Towards the Use of Biomass as Renewable Energy—A Case Study from Southeastern Europe
Among the renewable energy sources, increasing the use of biomass (agricultural by-products) could be important from both an environmental and a climate protection perspective, but in many cases this is not a part of the current practice. Especially in developing countries, a large amount of agricultural waste suitable for energy use remains unused, remaining on the arable land or being burned in the field. Complicating matters is the fact that some countries have significant fossil energy
... ves. This is also the case in Kosovo, which has the largest reserves of coal reserves (lignite) in southeastern Europe. An important question is how polluting and non-climate-friendly fossil fuels are to be replaced when they are available cheaply and in large quantities. The function of the political and economic models used in Europe has local specificity. It is not possible to copy the good solutions introduced by each country because of differences in the economic systems and farmers. Previous research has paid little attention to the producer conditions for available waste biomass sales. Studies have not examined the sales attitudes of farmers, or under what conditions they are willing to sell a larger proportion of the straw produced—of course, in such a way that they also meet the needs of animal husbandry, nutrients, and carbon supply. Using binary logistics regression and descriptive statistics not yet used in previous research, we analyzed the factors that influence farmers' willingness to sell, sales barriers, and incentives. According to the respondents, the biggest barriers to selling straw are the lack of a market (74.1%) and baling machines (50.9%), while the main incentives may be a good price (75%) and a guaranteed contract (67.8%). The farmers surveyed believe that, in a safe market, with a multiyear contractual agreement, they would sell more than half of their straw for biomass energy production. The use of straw in animal husbandry is declining due to the introduction of new technological solutions, so the use of straw for energy purposes is an increasingly topical issue in the rapidly developing southeastern European countries as well. Based on our research results, it can be stated that the majority of farmers are willing to sell more than 50% of the amount of straw produced for energy purposes if the business model and state regulations are appropriate.