Using Monte Carlo Simulation to Account for Uncertainties in the Spatial Explicit Modeling of Biomass Fired Combined Heat and Power Potentials in Austria
Austria aims at increasing its share of renewable energy production by 11% until 2020. Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants fired by forest wood can significantly contribute to attaining this target. However, the spatial distribution of biomass supply and of heat demand limits the potentials of CHP production. This paper assesses CHP potentials using a mixed integer programming model that optimizes locations of bioenergy plants. Investment costs of district heating infrastructure are modeled as a function of heat demand densities, which can differ substantially. Gasification of biomass in a combined cycle process is assumed as production technology. Some model parameters have a broad range according to a literature review. Monte-Carlo simulations have therefore been performed to account for model parameter uncertainty in our analysis. Optimal locations of plants are clustered around big cities in the East of Austria. At current power prices, biomass based CHP production allows producing around 3% of Austria’s total current energy demand. Yet, the heat utilization decreases when CHP production increases due to limited heat demand that is suitable for district heating.
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