IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Comparing the life cycle costs of using harvest residue as feedstock for small- and large-scale bioenergy systems (part II)

Listed author(s):
  • Cleary, Julian
  • Wolf, Derek P.
  • Caspersen, John P.
Registered author(s):

    In part II of our two-part study, we estimate the nominal electricity generation and GHG (greenhouse gas) mitigation costs of using harvest residue from a hardwood forest in Ontario, Canada to fuel (1) a small-scale (250 kWe) combined heat and power wood chip gasification unit and (2) a large-scale (211 MWe) coal-fired generating station retrofitted to combust wood pellets. Under favorable operational and regulatory conditions, generation costs are similar: 14.1 and 14.9 cents per kWh (c/kWh) for the small- and large-scale facilities, respectively. However, GHG mitigation costs are considerably higher for the large-scale system: $159/tonne of CO2 eq., compared to $111 for the small-scale counterpart. Generation costs increase substantially under existing conditions, reaching: (1) 25.5 c/kWh for the small-scale system, due to a regulation mandating the continual presence of an operating engineer; and (2) 22.5 c/kWh for the large-scale system due to insufficient biomass supply, which reduces plant capacity factor from 34% to 8%. Limited inflation adjustment (50%) of feed-in tariff rates boosts these costs by 7% to 11%. Results indicate that policy generalizations based on scale require careful consideration of the range of operational/regulatory conditions in the jurisdiction of interest. Further, if GHG mitigation is prioritized, small-scale systems may be more cost-effective.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy.

    Volume (Year): 86 (2015)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 539-547

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:86:y:2015:i:c:p:539-547
    DOI: 10.1016/
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Danon, Gradimir & Furtula, Mladen & Mandić, Marija, 2012. "Possibilities of implementation of CHP (combined heat and power) in the wood industry in Serbia," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 169-176.
    2. Marbe, Å & Harvey, S & Berntsson, T, 2004. "Biofuel gasification combined heat and power—new implementation opportunities resulting from combined supply of process steam and district heating," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 29(8), pages 1117-1137.
    3. Gan, Jianbang, 2007. "Supply of biomass, bioenergy, and carbon mitigation: Method and application," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 6003-6009, December.
    4. Johanna Routa & Antti Asikainen & Rolf Björheden & Juha Laitila & Dominik Röser, 2013. "Forest energy procurement: state of the art in Finland and Sweden," Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(6), pages 602-613, November.
    5. Taljan, Gregor & Verbič, Gregor & Pantoš, Miloš & Sakulin, Manfred & Fickert, Lothar, 2012. "Optimal sizing of biomass-fired Organic Rankine Cycle CHP system with heat storage," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 29-38.
    6. Moore, Steven & Durant, Vincent & Mabee, Warren E., 2013. "Determining appropriate feed-in tariff rates to promote biomass-to-electricity generation in Eastern Ontario, Canada," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 607-613.
    7. Mabee, Warren E. & Mannion, Justine & Carpenter, Tom, 2012. "Comparing the feed-in tariff incentives for renewable electricity in Ontario and Germany," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 480-489.
    8. Adams, P.W. & Hammond, G.P. & McManus, M.C. & Mezzullo, W.G., 2011. "Barriers to and drivers for UK bioenergy development," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 1217-1227, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:energy:v:86:y:2015:i:c:p:539-547. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.