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How location decisions influence the transport cost of processed and unprocessed bioenergy digestates: the impact of plant size and location on profitability of biogas plants in Germany

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  • Ruth Delzeit
  • Ulla Kellner
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    Abstract

    The production of bioenergy is considered to be a promising energy source for a sustainable energy mix and it is politically promoted in many countries. With the exception of Brazilian ethanol, bioenergy not competitive to fossil energy sources, and therefore needs to be subsidised. Several types of bioenergy are based on bulky raw biomass with high per unit transport costs, importantly impacting on the plant’s production costs and profitability. In addition, considerable quantities of digestates are released, causing disposal costs. Various studies in the past aimed primarily at analysing transport costs of inputs. In this paper we focus on disposal costs of fermentation digestates from biogas production in Germany and analyse different processing techniques and their impact on profitability for three plant size in three case study areas. Our results show that especially in regions with only a small amount of agricultural land and a large heterogeneity in its agricultural area, processing of digestates increases the profitability of biogas production. The same accounts for regions with high livestock density, where the area needed for disposal is comparatively large. The cost efficiency is enforced by a high share of animal excrements on input and the biogas plant size

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    File URL: https://www.ifw-members.ifw-kiel.de/publications/how-location-decisions-influence-the-transport-cost-of-processed-and-unprocessed-bioenergy-digestates-the-impact-of-plant-size-and-location-on-profitability-of-biogas-plants-in-germany/how-location-decisions-influence-the-transport-cost-of-processed-and-unprocessed-bioenergy-digestates-the-impact-of-plant-size-and-location-on-profitability-of-biogas-plants-in-germany
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1730.

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    Length: 22 pages
    Date of creation: Sep 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1730

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    Related research

    Keywords: transport costs; biogas profitability; digestates processing; choice of location;

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    References

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    1. Boysen, Ole & Schroeder, Carsten, 2006. "Economies of Scale in der Produktion versus Diseconomies im Transport: Zum Strukturwandel im Molkereisektor," German Journal of Agricultural Economics, Humboldt-Universitaet zu Berlin, Department for Agricultural Economics, vol. 55(3).
    2. Edward L. Glaeser & Janet E. Kohlhase, 2003. "Cities, Regions and the Decline of Transport Costs," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2014, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    3. Schulze Steinmann, Matthias & Holm-Muller, Karin, 2010. "Thünensche Ringe der Biogaserzeugung – der Einfluss der Transportwürdigkeit nachwachsender Rohstoffe auf die Rohstoffwahl von Biogasanlagen," Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, Journal of International Agricultural Trade and Development, vol. 59(1).
    4. Delzeit, Ruth & Britz, Wolfgang & Holm-Muller, Karin, 2009. "Modelling regional maize market and transport distances for biogas production in Germany," 49th Annual Conference, Kiel, Germany, September 30-October 2, 2009 53258, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    5. Ruth Delzeit & Karin Holm-Müller & Wolfgang Britz, 2011. "Ökonomische Bewertung des Erneuerbare Energien Gesetzes zur Förderung von Biogas," Kiel Working Papers 1682, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
    6. Ruth Delzeit & Horst Gömann & Karin Holm-Müller & Peter Kreins & Bettina Kretschmer & Julia Münch & Sonja Peterson, 2010. "Analysing Bioenergy and Land Use Competition in a Coupled Modelling System: The Role of Bioenergy in Renewable Energy Policy in Germany," Kiel Working Papers 1653, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
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