Special Issue "Economics of Bioenergy 2016"

A special issue of Energies (ISSN 1996-1073).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2017).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Robert Lundmark
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Luleå University of Technology, SE-971 87 Luleå, Sweden
Interests: forest, energy and environmental economics; econometrics and mathematical programming methods; economic policy; bioeconomy
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The transition to a bioeconomy, and thus to a higher dependence on biomass for a range of uses, faces several challenges. This Special Issue focuses on the use of biomass (from various sources) for producing bioenergy and the economic challenges of such usage. The scope of this Special Issue encompasses empirical and theoretical contributions that focus on bioenergy and, e.g., supply and demand issues, policy implementation and design, innovation, market creation, competition, and trade. Other areas of study may also be considered, but they must have a clear bearing towards identified economic challenges and be based on economic theory.

Prof. Dr. Robert Lundmark
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • bioenergy
  • economic instrument
  • biomass
  • forestry
  • agricultural
  • waste
  • ocean
  • biofuel

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Anaerobic Digestion of Feedstock Grown on Marginal Land: Break-Even Electricity Prices
Energies 2017, 10(9), 1416; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10091416 - 15 Sep 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Marginal farm land is land characterised by low food, feed and fodder crop productivity due to soil and environmental limitations. Such land may however be utilised for bio-energy crop production. We investigate the economic viability of small scale combined heat and power anaerobic [...] Read more.
Marginal farm land is land characterised by low food, feed and fodder crop productivity due to soil and environmental limitations. Such land may however be utilised for bio-energy crop production. We investigate the economic viability of small scale combined heat and power anaerobic digestion (CHP AD) projects based on feedstock from farm waste and bio-energy crops grown on a representative temperate latitude marginal farm land in the UK. Using a realistic set of five project feedstock-mix scenarios, and considering standard technology and current market and policy regimes, we deploy a stochastic framework to assess prices of electricity required for these projects to break-even and conduct sensitivity analyses of key project parameters. Accounting for the current market prices and policy tariffs for heat, we find that critical electricity sale prices of about 17.46 p/kWh to 27.12 p/kWh are needed for the projects to break even. These prices are well above the current combined feed-in-tariff support and market prices for electricity over the past years in the UK. We conclude that the use of marginal land to generate power for export using small-scale CHP AD in the UK and the wider temperate latitude countries is unviable, if energy and farming policy regimes do not provide substantial support. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Bioenergy 2016)
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Open AccessArticle
Potential for Energy Production from Farm Wastes Using Anaerobic Digestion in the UK: An Economic Comparison of Different Size Plants
Energies 2017, 10(9), 1396; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10091396 - 13 Sep 2017
Cited by 6
Abstract
Anaerobic digestion (AD) plants enable renewable fuel, heat, and electricity production, with their efficiency and capital cost strongly dependent on their installed capacity. In this work, the technical and economic feasibility of different scale AD combined heat and power (CHP) plants was analyzed. [...] Read more.
Anaerobic digestion (AD) plants enable renewable fuel, heat, and electricity production, with their efficiency and capital cost strongly dependent on their installed capacity. In this work, the technical and economic feasibility of different scale AD combined heat and power (CHP) plants was analyzed. Process configurations involving the use of waste produced in different farms as feedstock for a centralized AD plant were assessed too. The results show that the levelized cost of electricity are lower for large-scale plants due to the use of more efficient conversion devices and their lower capital cost per unit of electricity produced. The levelized cost of electricity was estimated to be 4.3 p/kWhe for AD plants processing the waste of 125 dairy cow sized herds compared to 1.9 p/kWhe for AD plants processing waste of 1000 dairy cow sized herds. The techno-economic feasibility of the installation of CO2 capture units in centralized AD-CHP plants was also undertaken. The conducted research demonstrated that negative CO2 emission AD power generation plants could be economically viable with currently paid feed-in tariffs in the UK. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Bioenergy 2016)
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Open AccessArticle
Greenhouse Gas Mitigation of Rural Household Biogas Systems in China: A Life Cycle Assessment
Energies 2017, 10(2), 239; https://doi.org/10.3390/en10020239 - 16 Feb 2017
Cited by 13
Abstract
Rural household biogas (RHB) systems are at a crossroads in China, yet there has been a lack of holistic evaluation of their energy and climate (greenhouse gas mitigation) efficiency under typical operating conditions. We combined data from monitoring projects and questionnaire surveys across [...] Read more.
Rural household biogas (RHB) systems are at a crossroads in China, yet there has been a lack of holistic evaluation of their energy and climate (greenhouse gas mitigation) efficiency under typical operating conditions. We combined data from monitoring projects and questionnaire surveys across hundreds of households from two typical Chinese villages within a consequential life cycle assessment (LCA) framework to assess net GHG (greenhouse gas) mitigation by RHB systems operated in different contexts. We modelled biogas production, measured biogas losses and used survey data from biogas and non-biogas households to derive empirical RHB system substitution rates for energy and fertilizers. Our results indicate that poorly designed and operated RHB systems in northern regions of China may in fact increase farm household GHG emissions by an average of 2668 kg CO2-eq· year−1, compared with a net mitigation effect of 6336 kg CO2-eq per household and year in southern regions. Manure treatment (104 and 8513 kg CO2-eq mitigation) and biogas leakage (-533 and -2489 kg CO2-eq emission) are the two most important factors affecting net GHG mitigation by RHB systems in northern and southern China, respectively. In contrast, construction (−173 and −305 kg CO2-eq emission), energy substitution (−522 emission and 653 kg·CO2-eq mitigation) and nutrient substitution (−1544 and −37 kg CO2-eq emission) made small contributions across the studied systems. In fact, survey data indicated that biogas households had higher energy and fertilizer use, implying no net substitution effect. Low biogas yields in the cold northern climate and poor maintenance services were cited as major reasons for RHB abandonment by farmers. We conclude that the design and management of RHB systems needs to be revised and better adapted to local climate (e.g., digester insulation) and household energy demand (biogas storage and micro power generators to avoid discharge of unburned biogas). More precise nutrient management planning could ensure that digestate nutrients are more effectively utilized to substitute synthetic fertilizers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Bioenergy 2016)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effect of Biogas Production on Farmland Rental Prices: Empirical Evidences from Northern Italy
Energies 2016, 9(11), 965; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9110965 - 18 Nov 2016
Cited by 11
Abstract
In the last decade, increased environmental awareness has prompted the adoption of incentives for exploiting renewable energy sources. Among these, biogas production has received a certain attention in developed countries. Nonetheless, the subsidies provided have posed the problem of an activity (the production [...] Read more.
In the last decade, increased environmental awareness has prompted the adoption of incentives for exploiting renewable energy sources. Among these, biogas production has received a certain attention in developed countries. Nonetheless, the subsidies provided have posed the problem of an activity (the production of bioenergy) that engages in direct competition with food and feed production for limited resources, like agricultural land. Even if this competition may be softened by allocating marginal land and/or using dedicated non-agricultural crops, empirical evidence shows that biogas plants have been developed in highly-productive agricultural areas, using increasing amounts of maize silage as feedstock. Thus, studies aimed at measuring the effect of biogas production on agricultural activities are needed in order to avoid this socially undesirable outcome. The paper presents an econometric estimation of the impact of biogas plants on farmland rental values of a Northern Italian rural area. Results show that biogas has a non-linear effect on rental prices, suggesting that incentive schemes specifically accounting for plants’ dimensions and technologies would improve the social sustainability of the bioenergy sector and its coexistence with agricultural activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Bioenergy 2016)
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Open AccessArticle
Determination of Optimized Parameters for the Flexible Operation of a Biomass-Fueled, Microscale Externally Fired Gas Turbine (EFGT)
Energies 2016, 9(10), 856; https://doi.org/10.3390/en9100856 - 22 Oct 2016
Cited by 2
Abstract
Biomass as a source of renewable energy is a promising solution for current problems in energy supply. Olive waste is considered as an interesting option, especially for Mediterranean countries. Within this paper, a microscale externally fired gas turbine (EFGT) technology is presented as [...] Read more.
Biomass as a source of renewable energy is a promising solution for current problems in energy supply. Olive waste is considered as an interesting option, especially for Mediterranean countries. Within this paper, a microscale externally fired gas turbine (EFGT) technology is presented as a decentralized power plant, within the range of 15 kWth, based on olive residues. It was modeled by Aspen Plus 8.6 software to provide a sufficient technical study for such a plant. Optimized parameters for pressure ratio and turbine air-mass flow have been mapped for several loads to provide information for process control. For all cases, mechanical output, efficiency curves, and back-work ratio have been calculated. Using this information, typical plant sizes and an example of power production are discussed. Additionally, achievable energy production from olive waste is estimated on the basis of this data. The results of this study show that such a plant has an electrical efficiency of 5%–17%. This variation is due to the examination being performed under several combustion temperatures, actual load, heat exchanger temperatures, and heat transfer efficiency. A cost estimation of the discussed system showed an estimated capital cost of 33,800 to 65,300 € for a 15 kWth system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Economics of Bioenergy 2016)
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