Skip to main content

Biomass cogeneration network (BIOCOGEN)

Deliverables

The plan includes: - Consideration of benefits and European policy imperatives. - Future prospects of biomass cogeneration in Europe: Customers; Competitors; Major external influences (political, legal & regulatory, economic, social, technical). The above assimilated into a Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats analysis. - Most promising market segments for growing the installed capacity of biomass cogeneration, by country. - Competitive advantages and some key observations and trends in target markets - Bullet point list of key recommendations The paper is intended primarily for the European Commission. It should also help guide other stakeholders with perspectives and remits for the biomass cogeneration industry, particularly trade associations. The paper offers a common basis for European Commission and other stakeholder’s support for and activities with the biomass cogeneration industry. The overall stated objective for the BioCogen network stated in Annex 1 “Technical Description of Work” to the EC contract was: “To provide technical and economic data and deal with the key issues in the implementation of biomass CHP in Europe, aiming to facilitate the aim of 26mtoe biomass CHP installations to be reached by 2010”. It was further stated that this would be reached through: - A review of the national and international activities on biomass CHP (RTD projects, biomass and cogeneration networks, IEA); - A market analysis on biomass CHP (based on biomass potential in relation to the energy market) in the EU and participating Eastern European countries; - The provision of information (through country surveys based on uniform questionnaires) on the current situation on biomass CHP in the EU and the participating Eastern European countries; - The identification of differences between countries or regions within the same country concerning cost efficiencies and environmental performance in comparison to the targets set by the EU; - The determination of the factors, which foster or hinder biomass CHP; - The identification of ‘flagship’ projects; - The dissemination of the results through education and training activities as well as through the development of a web site on biomass.
The BioCogen partners provided details of a number of plants via the completion of a questionnaire. These were combined with information in an existing database (developed by the University of Graz). The sample size is 122. The sample is quite comprehensive for Germany and Austria but less complete or short of data for some other countries. Compiling this type of data is a difficult task, because information sources are numerous, with different languages, protocols etc. The report provides a quantitative analysis of the plants, using graphs to present aspects such as: - Construction year; - Technologies; - Installed capacities (electricity/thermal/ratio of electricity to thermal); - Fuels; - Specific investment costs; - The nature of plants (i.e. commercial, demonstration etc). The report is a unique up-to-date reference document that provides insights into the nature and costs of biomass CHP in Europe. Data on these aspects is very scarce so BioCogen makes a useful contribution.
This provides the results of a survey of biomass CHP plants in Europe, selected as ‘good’ examples because of their technical innovation, environmental performance, novelty, and / or public acceptance / participation. Each of 16 plants are summarised in 2-3 pages, covering background, technical information, reasons for selection etc. plus photographs and schematics.
The biomass CHP industry lies within the wider cogeneration industry mostly based on fossil fuels. The technologies overlap: biomass CHP technology may be the same, adopted or similar to that used in fossil fuel applications. Providers of technology often supply both biomass and fossil fuel applications. Other stakeholders are also common, such as investors and developers. Biomass and fossil fuel cogeneration share some common drivers and many common obstacles. The starting point for the market survey for biomass CHP was therefore to consider the current and anticipated future for the wider cogeneration industry. A considerable amount of information is available from publications by COGEN Europe and Euro Heat and Power. This information was reviewed. CRES also attended the COGEN Europe annual conference in Brussels in April 2003 and the knowledge gained was valuable input to the market survey. An important observation is that the cogeneration industry in Europe is currently static or in decline. The wider energy industry is going through large changes - privatisation / deregulation - and costs of energy are being driven down in many cases to levels that are unsustainable in the longer term. This is coupled with the fact that cogeneration does not enjoy easy access to the grid nor recognition of its benefits � there is not an even playing field. However, the report reviews more optimistic scenarios, in which the energy efficiency, security of supply, greenhouse gas emission etc benefits are recognised and rewarded. The report includes analysis of theoretical biomass fuel availability. Graphics in the report show biomass fuel availability (PJ) in participating countries plus an estimate of how much cogeneration capacity may be installed. The data illustrate the theoretical abundance of biomass fuels. In the nine countries included, there is (very approximately) estimated to be sufficient biomass fuel for 18750 MWe CHP capacity. Estimates of pan-European biomass fuel availability are non-existent, so this rather rough exercise provides some knowledge for debate. The report considers the potential markets for biomass CHP, such as agro-industry, forestry, district heating etc. Some useful observations are made such as: increasing supply of biomass fuels to existing district heating plants in Europe; potential for landfill and sewage gas in southern and accession states etc. The report reviews drivers in the biomass cogeneration market � from policy maker�s and investors viewpoints - and obstacles. Economic, regulatory, institutional, technical, social, environmental factors were considered and the discussion refers to the wider cogeneration market. The web was reviewed for information and BioCogen partners provided their professional opinions and know-how for their national circumstances or from wider international perspectives.
The report covers ten participating countries plus further eight countries. Austria, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, France, Slovenia, Finland, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Greece, Turkey, Ireland, United Kingdom. The survey used an extensive number of information sources, including national government statistics and reports (e.g. central statistics offices; reports by Ministries; energy regulatory authorities), international reviews by agencies (e.g. OECD, International Energy Agency) and trade associations (Euroheat and Power, COGEN Europe); European reports (from networks such as EUBIONET) and statistics (particularly Eurostat); plus the BioCogen partners’ own databases. Country reports followed a standard format and include: - Overview of the energy sector. - Review of policies legislation and support mechanisms for renewable energy and CHP. - Details of CHP and biomass CHP activities and plants. The country reports are a thorough and up-to-date review of biomass cogeneration for many countries across Europe (18 countries from the EU25 plus Turkey). The country reports provided valuable background information for other BioCogen tasks. They are a useful deliverable in their own right. The document gives information over a wide geographic area, which is useful for promoters of biomass cogeneration and insights to national situations for developers, investors and industry.
This report reviews the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of biomass cogeneration technologies in comparison to fossil fuel energy systems. The basis of the work was IEA Task 25 �Greenhouse gas balances of biomass and bioenergy systems� and the �Global emission model of integrated systems� developed by Öko-Institut Darmstad from Denmark. IEA Task 25 was superseded by IEA Task 38. This report deals with a key benefit of bioenergy systems, namely their very low level of greenhouse gas emissions compared to conventional fossil fuel systems. The report presents the results of running the model for 34 bioenergy systems and 18 fossil energy systems in Austria. The model includes the full life cycle. The results are presented in readily comparable quantitative tables and graphics. Overall, biomass fuelled CHP units emit 87-92% less greenhouse gas (CO2 equivalents) than fossil fuelled CHP units. If biomass is used to replace fossil fuel use, then greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced. Consideration of the whole life cycle and by-products gives some interesting results. For example, the use of animal manures for biogas-fuelled CHP avoids methane emissions so this is found to be a highly beneficial system in terms of net greenhouse gas emissions. Presentation of these findings in this report is important for raising the knowledge that biomass CHP offers in respect of greenhouse gas mitigation, which is an increasingly important driver in Europe.