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Reducing emissions of the fast growing Vietnamese coal sector: The chances offered by biomass co-firing

Truong, An Ha, Patrizio, Piera, Leduc, Sylvain, Kraxner, Florian, Ha-Duong, Minh
Journal of cleaner production 2019 v.215 pp. 1301-1311
biomass, carbon dioxide, coal, greenhouse gas emissions, hulls, models, power plants, rice, rice straw, Vietnam
Vietnam's Power Development Plan 7A authorized many new coal power plants projects, implying an increase of greenhouse gases emissions from 90 MtCO2eq/year today to 360 MtCO2eq/year in 2030. How could co-firing technology –that is the partial substitution of coal by biomass– contributes to mitigate that problem? In this study, we assess the costs and potentials of co-firing rice residues in present and planned coal power plants in Vietnam using a spatially explicit optimization model: BeWhere, adapted as recursive annual dynamic. We found that, the cost of CO2 emissions is the key parameter determining at what level the technology is used. A cost of CO2 emissions of 8 $/tCO2 mobilizes the maximum technical potential of the rice straw and husk domestic resource, with an annual emission reduction of 28 MtCO2eq/year by 2030. At this level, biomass co-firing contributes to an 8% emission reduction in the coal power sector with the abatement cost of 137 Million USD.