Techno-economic Assessment of Biomass Pellets for Power Generation in India

Purohit P & Chaturvedi V (2016). Techno-economic Assessment of Biomass Pellets for Power Generation in India. CEEW Working Paper. Thapar House, New Delhi, India

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Abstract

Biomass pellet production has increased considerably in recent years, mainly due to the demand created by policies and bioenergy-use targets in the European Union (EU). Global biomass pellet production was 24.1 million tonne (Mt) in 2014. In this study, a preliminary attempt has been made to assess the techno-economic feasibility of biomass pellets for electricity generation in India produced from biomass surplus available from agriculture and forestry/wasteland. Biomass surplus availability from agriculture and forestry/wasteland for biomass pellet Production is estimated at 242 Mt for 2010–11, and is expected to rise to 281 Mt in 2030–31 due to increased crop production and associated waste/residue availability. The surplus biomass availability from the agricultural sector (123 Mt in 2010–11) alone is sufficient to substitute 25% of the current coal consumption in the power sector (through cofiring of coal with biomass pellets).

In terms of related capacity, the potential of biomass pellet-based power (BPBP) projects is estimated at 30 GW for 2010–11 and 35 GW for 2030–31. The associated CO2 mitigation potential resulting from the substitution of coal is estimated at 192 and 205 Mt CO2eq in 2020–21 and 2030–31 respectively if the entire biomass surplus available from the agricultural and forestry/wasteland sectors were to be diverted for power generation. Using a simple framework for determining the techno-economic feasibility of biomass pellets, the pellet production cost is estimated at INR 4,473/ tonne for a 1,500 kg/hr capacity biomass pellet unit. The levelised cost of electricity is estimated at INR 8.35/kWh for BPBP as compared to the INR 6.92/kWh for imported coal. For states with lower tariff for biomass power, the breakeven price of carbon for BPBP projects is estimated at 18 Euros. Our preliminary estimates indicate that BPBP projects will currently generate employment of more than 5 million person-months in the construction of biomass power plants and over 200,000 full-time employments in the operation of biomass power plants and in the production of biomass pellets.

Item Type: Other
Uncontrolled Keywords: biomass pellet, agricultural residue, biomass co-firing, levelised cost of electricity
Research Programs: Air Quality & Greenhouse Gases (AIR)
Mitigation of Air Pollution (MAG)
Bibliographic Reference: CEEW Working Paper, October 2016
Depositing User: Romeo Molina
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2016 12:11
Last Modified: 31 Oct 2016 07:39
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/13896

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