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Cost Analysis of straw-based power generation in Jiangsu Province, China


  • Zhang, Qin
  • Zhou, Dequn
  • Zhou, Peng
  • Ding, Hao


As one of the most developed provinces in China, Jiangsu Province has been actively developing bio-energy in order to deal with its electricity supply shortage. By the end of 2010, there are 12 grid-connected straw-based power plants, but only two of them are profitable in this province. This paper presents a simple and detailed method for estimating the cost of straw-based power generation with life cycle analysis, and identifies the main causes for the financial deficit of these plants through a sensitivity analysis and survey. It concludes that: (i) compared with coal-fired power generation, the cost of straw-based power generation is indeed high. (ii) The fuel cost takes the largest share in the operation cost. (iii) The basic causes of the high cost are from straw characteristics, mismatch between demand and supply, immature technology, inappropriate project planning and low motivation of farmer selling straw. Based on the basic causes, we propose the countermeasures.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, Qin & Zhou, Dequn & Zhou, Peng & Ding, Hao, 2013. "Cost Analysis of straw-based power generation in Jiangsu Province, China," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 785-793.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:appene:v:102:y:2013:i:c:p:785-793
    DOI: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2012.08.032

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Delivand, Mitra Kami & Barz, Mirko & Gheewala, Shabbir H., 2011. "Logistics cost analysis of rice straw for biomass power generation in Thailand," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 1435-1441.
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    6. Mobini, Mahdi & Sowlati, Taraneh & Sokhansanj, Shahab, 2011. "Forest biomass supply logistics for a power plant using the discrete-event simulation approach," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(4), pages 1241-1250, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Xingwei & Cai, Yanpeng & Dai, Chao, 2014. "Evaluating China's biomass power production investment based on a policy benefit real options model," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 751-761.
    2. Shafie, S.M., 2016. "A review on paddy residue based power generation: Energy, environment and economic perspective," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 1089-1100.
    3. Yang, Jun & Wang, Xiaobing & Ma, Hengyun & Bai, Junfei & Jiang, Ye & Yu, Hai, 2014. "Potential usage, vertical value chain and challenge of biomass resource: Evidence from China’s crop residues," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 717-723.
    4. Wen, Wen & Zhang, Qin, 2015. "A design of straw acquisition mode for China's straw power plant based on supply chain coordination," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 369-374.
    5. Hao Lv & Hao Ding & Dequn Zhou & Peng Zhou, 2014. "A Site Selection Model for a Straw-Based Power Generation Plant with CO 2 Emissions," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(10), pages 1-16, October.
    6. Zhang, Ling & Zhou, Peng & Newton, Sidney & Fang, Jian-xin & Zhou, De-qun & Zhang, Lu-ping, 2015. "Evaluating clean energy alternatives for Jiangsu, China: An improved multi-criteria decision making method," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 90(P1), pages 953-964.
    7. Wang, Changbo & Zhang, Lixiao & Chang, Yuan & Pang, Mingyue, 2015. "Biomass direct-fired power generation system in China: An integrated energy, GHG emissions, and economic evaluation for Salix," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 155-165.
    8. Mingming Zhang & Dequn Zhou & Hao Ding & Jingliang Jin, 2016. "Biomass Power Generation Investment in China: A Real Options Evaluation," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(6), pages 1-22, June.
    9. Shafie, S.M. & Masjuki, H.H. & Mahlia, T.M.I., 2014. "Rice straw supply chain for electricity generation in Malaysia: Economical and environmental assessment," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 299-308.
    10. Zhang, Xingping & Luo, Kaiyan & Tan, Qinliang, 2016. "A feedstock supply model integrating the official organization for China's biomass generation plants," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 276-290.
    11. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:5:p:832-:d:98795 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:eee:appene:v:217:y:2018:i:c:p:440-455 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Sastre, C.M. & González-Arechavala, Y. & Santos, A.M., 2015. "Global warming and energy yield evaluation of Spanish wheat straw electricity generation – A LCA that takes into account parameter uncertainty and variability," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 900-911.
    14. Zhang, Qin & Zhou, Dequn & Fang, Xiaomeng, 2014. "Analysis on the policies of biomass power generation in China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 926-935.
    15. Zhao, Xin-gang & Li, Ang, 2016. "A multi-objective sustainable location model for biomass power plants: Case of China," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 1184-1193.
    16. repec:eee:rensus:v:81:y:2018:i:p2:p:2450-2459 is not listed on IDEAS

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    Straw; Biomass; Power generation; Power plant;


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