Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Biomass cogeneration market analysis

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.

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