Cover: Near-Term Opportunities for Integrating Biomass into the U.S. Electricity Supply

Near-Term Opportunities for Integrating Biomass into the U.S. Electricity Supply

Technical Considerations

Published Jul 29, 2011

by David S. Ortiz, Aimee E. Curtright, Constantine Samaras, Aviva Litovitz, Nicholas E. Burger

Download

Download eBook for Free

Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Summary Only

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 0.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback186 pages $38.50

In light of potential regulatory limits on greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions, requirements for greater use of renewable fuels, and higher prices for some conventional fossil resources, over the course of the next few decades, biomass is expected to become an increasingly important source of electricity, heat, and liquid fuel. One near-term option for using biomass to generate electricity is to cofire biomass in coal-fired electricity plants. Doing so allows such plants to reduce GHG emissions and, in appropriate regulatory environments, to generate renewable-energy credits to recover costs. This report focuses on two aspects of biomass use: plant-site modifications, changes in operations, and costs associated with cofiring biomass; and the logistical issues associated with delivering biomass to the plant. The authors find that the main challenge is maintaining a consistent fuel supply; technical and regulatory factors can drive the decision to cofire; cofiring can increase costs, decrease revenue, and reduce GHG emissions; densification does not reduce plant costs but can reduce transportation costs, however current markets cannot support use of densified fuels.

This research was sponsored by the National Energy Technology Laboratory and was conducted in the Environment, Energy, and Economic Development Program within RAND Infrastructure, Safety, and Environment.

This report is part of the RAND technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.