Bioenergy has a key role in the European Union (EU) policy aimed at enhancing energy security and mitigating climate change. In the implementation of EU policy at national, and—especially—at regional and local levels, the inclusion of stakeholders' opinions is crucial to increase social acceptance and to reduce conflicts between the parties. This study analyzes stakeholders' opinions of biomass-based energy development at the local level (Sarentino valley, South Tyrol region, Italy) by using the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)-AHP (Analytical Hierarchy Process) approach. SWOT-AHP methodology was implemented in three stages: stakeholders analysis, identification of the SWOT factors, and evaluation of the SWOT factors. Strategic factors were evaluated using the outcomes of a questionnaire administered to five groups of stakeholders (public administrations, NGO and associations, academia, farmers, and forest-wood chain actors). The results showed a firm prevalence for the strengths (33.3%) and opportunities (32.9%) over the potential threats (18.8%) and weaknesses (15%) of the actual bioenergy supply chain in Sarentino valley. SWOT-AHP methodology could be useful in the development and implementation of a local and regional participatory decision making process in the forest-wood-energy supply chain as it can provide structural and quantified analysis of the subjective preferences of the stakeholders.

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