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V.a Biomatter to fuel conversion costs

This area includes the cost of converting biomatter into a useful fuel, with types of conversion lumped into a set of categories:

  1. Dry biomass and waste to
    1. Solid fuel. See Biomass conversion dry biomass, biocrops and waste to solid cost data.
    2. Liquid fuel. See Biomass conversion dry biomass and waste to liquid cost data.
    3. Gaseous fuel. See Biomass conversion dry biomass and waste to gas cost data.
  2. Wet biomass and waste to
    1. Liquid fuel. See Biomass conversion wet biomass and waste to liquid cost data.
    2. Gaseous fuel. See Biomass conversion wet biomass and waste to gas cost data.
  3. Energy crops (first generation) to liquid fuel. See Biomass conversion 1st generation energy crops to liquid cost data.
  4. Energy crops (second generation) to
    1. Solid fuel. See Biomass conversion dry biomass, biocrops and waste to solid cost data.
    2. Liquid fuel. See Biomass conversion 2nd generation energy crops to liquid cost data.
    3. Gaseous fuel. See Biomass conversion 2nd generation energy crops to gas cost data.
  5. Gaseous waste (i.e., landfill gas) to gaseous fuel. See biomass conversion gas to gas cost data.

In each case, the model assumes that the fuels are a direct replacement for their fossil alternative (i.e.: solid fuel is a replacement for coal; liquid fuel is a replacement for petrol, diesel and other oil based products; gaseous fuel is a replacement for natural gas).

This section does not cover:

  1. The cost of producing the feedstocks of bioenergy in the UK, see:
    1. VI.a Agriculture and land use Costs
    2. VI.b Volume of Waste & Recycling Costs
    3. vi.c Marine algae Costs
  2. Turning the fuel into electricity, see:
    1. I.a Biomass/Coal power stations Costs (for large scale generation)
    2. IX.a Domestic space heating and hot water costs (for home and community CHP)
    3. IX.c Commercial heating and cooling costs (for commercial CHP)
    4. XI.a Industrial processes costs (for industrial bioenergy use)

Imports are assumed to arrive in their final useful form, see: V.b bioenergy imports Costs

Technical Assumptions

Biomatter to fuel conversion is modelled on sheet V.a of the excel model.

The technical assumptions are documented on pages 160 to 163 of the original 2050 Pathways Analysis Report. In response to the call for evidence, the tool was changed so that conversion efficiencies vary over time and to correct the calorific value of wood. These changes are documented on pages 73 to 76 of the Government's response to the Call for Evidence.

Once they have selected the availability of different feedstocks (see VI.a Agriculture and land use Costs, VI.b Volume of Waste & Recycling Costs, vi.c Marine algae Costs) then on this sheet the user can bias whether those feedstocks are mainly turned into solid, liquid or gaseous fuels, or a combination.

The key technical assumptions are:

  1. The conversion processes are self powered (i.e., they don't require any external imports of fuel or electricity)
  2. The efficiencies of each type of conversion. These are documented in table D1 of page 74 of the Government's response to the Call for Evidence.
  3. All plants have an life of 30 years.

COSTS METHODOLOGY

The user defines how much biomatter is available (in TWh) based on decisions made in other parts of the model (agriculture, waste etc). The user then chooses the fuel type biomass feedstocks are converted into (solid, liquid, gaseous, mixed). This gives a TWh/yr for each conversion route (e.g., second generation biocrop to liquid fuel).

This TWh/yr is used to estimate the number of conversion plants required for that route. The number of conversion plants is multiplied by a typical capital and operating cost for that plant.

The costs used for each type of conversion can be found:

  1. Dry biomass and waste to
    1. Solid fuel: 2050 working assumption Biomass conversion dry biomass and waste to solid 2010-2050
    2. Liquid fuel: 2050 working assumption Biomass conversion dry biomass and waste to liquid 2010-2050
    3. Gaseous fuel: 2050 working assumption Biomass conversion dry biomass and waste to gas
  2. Wet biomass and waste to
    1. Liquid fuel: 2050 working assumption Biomass conversion wet biomass and waste to liquid 2010-2050
    2. Gaseous fuel: 2050 working assumption Biomass converstion wet biomass and waste to gas 2010-2050
  3. Energy crops (first generation) to liquid fuel: 2050 working assumption Biomass conversion 1st generation energy crops to liquid 2010-2050
  4. Energy crops (second generation) to
    1. Solid fuel: 2050 working assumption Biomass conversion dry biomass and waste to solid 2010-2050
    2. Liquid fuel: 2050 working assumption Biomass conversion 2nd generation energy crops to liquid 2010-2050
    3. Gaseous fuel
  5. Gaseous waste (i.e., landfill gas) to gaseous fuel: 2050 working assumption Biomass conversion gas to gas 2010-50

Plant life is modelled by assuming that (1/30 years) of existing plants need to be replaced each year.

Methodological Concerns

How are we incoroprating distribution costs?

Here, or as part of the cost of the feedstock? Are we similarly incorporating the cost of fossil fuel distribution?

Are we sure we aren't double or triple counting?

We need to be sure that we aren't double or triple counting costs between the feedstock, the conversion and the end use technology.

Are the small scale AD costs valid? Should they be included?

The smallest scale AD costs are very high. Are they correct? If they are correct, should they be included? They should be if we are assuming that they would be a valid way to get the full potential from manure that we are assuming.

Chipping and pelletising capital costs?

We lack data points for chipping and pelletising that include both captial and operating costs.

Distinction between to-gas and to-liquid technologies

We are using more or less the same cost data for the to-gas and to-liquid technologies for wet waste, dry waste and second generation biocrops. We are assuming that the efficiency varies for the different feedstocks, but need to explore whether the initial capital and the subsequent operating costs also vary significantly by feedstock.

GENERAL COMMENTS

Please use this space to add any general comments. Please include your name when you comment.