Biomass cofiring: economics, policy and opportunities

Authors
Citation
E. Hughes, Biomass cofiring: economics, policy and opportunities, BIO BIOENER, 19(6), 2000, pp. 457-465
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Biotecnology & Applied Microbiology
Journal title
BIOMASS & BIOENERGY
ISSN journal
0961-9534 → ACNP
Volume
19
Issue
6
Year of publication
2000
Pages
457 - 465
Database
ISI
SICI code
0961-9534(2000)19:6<457:BCEPAO>2.0.ZU;2-G
Abstract
The US Department of Energy (DOE), Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and utilities are evaluating, testing and applying technology that can giv e a new, and potentially profitable, mission to existing coal-fired power p lants. The oldest of all fuels, wood, and the old original fuel of the indu strial revolution, coal, are key to this move to a new mission. Technical i ssues that can lead to doubt about, or outright rejection of, wood (or biom ass) cofiring are, in fact, being reserved through testing and experience. DOE, EPRI and utilities have joined to cosponsor tests in full-sized boiler s and design/cost/supply studies related to these tests. Economic calculati ons, based on the measured performance and on cost estimates confirmed in p urchases for the tests, are presented in this paper. The technical feasibil ity is proved. The constraints are identified. So far, the profits are in t he future. Policy changes that produce stronger economic incentives could m ake profit possible today, and enable this low-cost form of renewable power to be deployed. But, without the policy, or market, change, the economic b arrier is a strong one, when biomass cofiring must compete with low-cost co al at low fuel cost and with low-capital-cost gas turbine combined cycle po wer plants. The economics would not be a barrier at all if biomass cofiring were in competition against moderate-velocity wind power or solar PV power . (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.