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Coproduction of district heat and electricity or biomotor fuels

Gustavsson, Leif, Truong, Nguyen Le
Energy 2011 v.36 no.10 pp. 6263-6277
biomass, byproducts, carbon dioxide, carbon markets, cost effectiveness, electricity, fossils, fuel production, gasification, greenhouse gas emissions, heat production, heating systems, issues and policy, oils, petroleum, power plants, prices, primary energy, production costs, taxes
The operation of a district heating system depends on the heat load demand, which varies throughout the year. In this paper, we analyze the coproduction of district heat and electricity or biomotor fuels. We demonstrate how three different taxation scenarios and two crude oil price levels influence the selection of production units to minimize the district heat production cost and calculate the resulting primary energy use. Our analysis is based on the annual measured heat load of a district heating system. The minimum-cost district heat production system comprises different production units that meet the district heat demand and simultaneously minimize the district heat production cost. First, we optimize the cost of a district heat production system based on the cogeneration of electricity and heat with and without biomass integrated gasification combined-cycle technology. We considered cogenerated electricity as a byproduct with the value of that produced by a condensing power plant. Next, we integrate and optimize different biomotor fuel production units into the district heat production system by considering biomotor fuels as byproducts that can substitute for fossil motor fuels. We demonstrate that in district heating systems, the strengthening of environmental taxation reduces the dependence on fossil fuels. However, increases in environmental taxation and the crude oil price do not necessarily influence the production cost of district heat as long as biomass price is not driven by policy measures. Biomotor fuel production in a district heating system is typically not cost-efficient. The biomotor fuels produced from the district heating system have to compete with those from standalone biomotor fuel plants and also with its fossil-based counterparts. This is also true for high oil prices. A carbon tax on fossil CO₂ emissions based on social cost damage will increase the competitiveness of biomass-based combined heat and power plants, especially for BIGCC technology with its high electricity-to-heat ratio.