A techno-economic evaluation of a biomass energy conversion park
Luzardo, Nathalie Marquez
Faculty of Sciences. Bioscience Engineering
Engineering sciences. Technology
Applied energy. - Barking
, p. 611-622
Biomass as a renewable energy source has many advantages and is therefore recognized as one of the main renewable energy sources to be deployed in order to attain the target of 20% renewable energy use of final energy consumption by 2020 in Europe. In this paper the concept of a biomass Energy Conversion Park (ECP) is introduced. A biomass ECP can be defined as a synergetic, multi-dimensional biomass conversion site with a highly integrated set of conversion technologies in which a multitude of regionally available biomass (residue) sources are converted into energy and materials. A techno-economic assessment is performed on a case study in the Netherlands to illustrate the concept and to comparatively assess the highly integrated system with two mono-dimensional models. The three evaluated models consist of (1) digestion of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste, (2) co-digestion of manure and co-substrates, and (3) integration. From a socio-economic point of view it can be concluded that it is economically and energetically more interesting to invest in the integrated model than in two separate models. The integration is economically feasible and environmental benefits can be realized. For example, the integrated model allows the implementation of a co-digester. Unmanaged manure would otherwise represent a constant pollution risk. However, from an investor's standpoint one should firstly invest in the municipal solid waste digester since the net present value (NPV) of this mono-dimensional model is higher than that of the multi-dimensional model. A sensitivity analysis is performed to identify the most influencing parameters. Our results are of interest for companies involved in the conversion of biomass. The conclusions are useful for policy makers when deciding on policy instruments concerning manure processing or biogas production. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.