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Energies 2015, 8(2), 1440-1467; doi:10.3390/en8021440

Monetization of External Costs Using Lifecycle Analysis—A Comparative Case Study of Coal-Fired and Biomass Power Plants in Northeast China

1
Graduate School of Engineering, Kochi University of Technology, Miyanokuchi 185, Tosayamada-cho, Kami City, Kochi 782-0003, Japan
2
School of Management, Kochi University of Technology, Miyanokuchi 185, Tosayamada-cho, Kami City, Kochi 782-0003, Japan
3
State Grid Heilongjiang Electric Power Company Limited, 301 Hanshui Road, Nangang District, Harbin 150090, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tariq Al-Shemmeri
Received: 23 December 2014 / Revised: 29 January 2015 / Accepted: 4 February 2015 / Published: 13 February 2015
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Abstract

In this study, the structures of external costs are built in line with coal-fired and biomass power plant life cycle activities in Northeast China. The external cost of coal-fired and biomass power plants was compared, using the lifecycle approach. In addition, the external costs of a biomass power plant are calculated for each stage for comparison with those of a coal-fired power plant. The results highlight that the external costs of a coal-fired plant are 0.072 US $/kWh, which are much higher than that of a biomass power plant, 0.00012 US$/kWh. The external cost of coal-fired power generation is as much as 90% of the current price of electricity generated by coal, while the external cost of a biomass power plant is 1/1000 of the current price of electricity generated by biomass. In addition, for a biomass power plant, the external cost associated with SO2, NOX, and PM2.5 are particularly lower than those of a coal-fired power plant. The prospect of establishing precise estimations for external cost mechanisms and sustainable energy policies is discussed to show a possible direction for future energy schemes in China. The paper has significant value for supporting the biomass power industry and taxing or regulating coal-fired power industry to optimize the energy structure in China. View Full-Text
Keywords: external cost; coal-fired power plant; biomass power plan; lifecycle external cost; coal-fired power plant; biomass power plan; lifecycle
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, L.; Watanabe, T.; Xu, Z. Monetization of External Costs Using Lifecycle Analysis—A Comparative Case Study of Coal-Fired and Biomass Power Plants in Northeast China. Energies 2015, 8, 1440-1467.

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