Applied Energy, Vol.187, 873-885, 2017
Renew, reduce or become more efficient? The climate contribution of biomass co-combustion in a coal-fired power plant
Within this paper, biomass supply chains, with different shares of biomass co-combustion in coal fired power plants, are analysed on energy efficiency, energy consumption, renewable energy production, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and compared with the performance of a 100% coal supply chain scenario, for a Dutch situation. The 60% biomass co-combustion supply chain scenarios show possibilities to reduce emissions up to 48%. The low co-combustion levels are effective to reduce GHG emissions, but the margins are small. Currently co-combustion of pellets is the norm. Co-combustion of combined torrefaction and pelleting (TOP) shows the best results, but is also the most speculative. The indicators from the renewable energy directive cannot be aligned. When biomass is regarded as scarce, co-combustion of small shares or no co-combustion is the best option from an energy perspective. When biomass is regarded as abundant, co-combustion of large shares is the best option from a GHG reduction perspective. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.