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A Spatial MAS Simulation to Evaluate the Promotion of Electricity from Agricultural Biogas Plants in Germany

  • Sorda, Giovanni

    ()

    (E.ON Energy Research Center, Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), RWTH Aachen University)

  • Sunak, Yasin

    ()

    (E.ON Energy Research Center, Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), RWTH Aachen University)

  • Madlener, Reinhard

    ()

    (E.ON Energy Research Center, Institute for Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), RWTH Aachen University)

In this paper we investigate how changes in the support scheme may affect electricity generation from agricultural Combined Heat and Power (CHP) biogas plants in Germany. A recursive Multi-Agent System (MAS) for investment decision-making is coupled with GIS data. The spatial-temporal diffusion model accounts for the limited availability of substrate resources, alternative plant sizes and different heat use combinations. For illustration, we apply the model to the German federal states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Bavaria, for which we estimate an additional economic capacity potential of 409 MWel. Overall, we conclude that current feed-in payments per unit of electric power provided are probably not too far off the optimum level, if one considers the maximum diffusion of CHP units possible. However, the current feed-in system may overtly favor small generating units, thereby failing to incentivize coordination among farmers for joint resource use in larger and more efficient plants. In addition, optimization of the biogas conversion process and feedstock use would also be highly beneficial.

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Paper provided by E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN) in its series FCN Working Papers with number 1/2011.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision: Oct 2012
Handle: RePEc:ris:fcnwpa:2011_001
Note: revised October 2012
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.eonerc.rwth-aachen.de/fcnEmail:


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  1. Harmsen - van Hout, Marjolein J.W. & Herings, P. Jean-Jacques & Dellaert, Benedict G.C., 2010. "Communication Network Formation with Link Specificity and Value Transferability," FCN Working Papers 15/2010, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN), revised Mar 2011.
  2. L├╝schen, Andreas & Madlener, Reinhard, 2010. "Economics of Biomass Co-Firing in New Hard Coal Power Plants in Germany," FCN Working Papers 23/2010, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  3. Harmsen - van Hout, Marjolein J.W. & Herings, P. Jean-Jacques & Dellaert, Benedict G.C., 2010. "The Structure of Online Consumer Communication Networks," FCN Working Papers 3/2010, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
  4. Harmsen - van Hout, Marjolein J.W. & Dellaert, Benedict G.C. & Herings, P. Jean-Jacques, 2010. "Behavioral Effects in Individual Decisions of Network Formation: Complexity Reduces Payoff Orientation and Social Preferences," FCN Working Papers 5/2010, E.ON Energy Research Center, Future Energy Consumer Needs and Behavior (FCN).
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