Biomass Energy Dan Crowe 24th February 2005
Potential uses for Biomass • Electricity generation • Co-firing in power stations • Space and water heating • Transport Fuels
Most efficient use of Biomass? • Probably for space and water heating at community level or in large buildings • 85-90% efficiency compared to ~30% in power stations (higher in CHP though) • Less processing and expense than in liquid transport fuels
Sources of Biomass • Energy Crops e.g. Oilseed Rape • Grasses e.g. Miscanthus • Forestry e.g. Conifer Plantations • By-Products e.g. Forest cuttings etc.
How much is available? • Difficult to calculate precisely… • However, Forestry Commission state current availability of 3.1 Million Tonnes/year of forest by-products • Agricultural policies mean that over 600,000 hectares are available on Set Aside Land, can be used for Energy Crops.
How much would this provide? • 3.1 million tonnes= saving of 55.8 PJ to national grid (biomass heating instead of electricity) • Forestry on Set Aside (in 30 years)= 122.6 PJ saving Or • Miscanthus on Set Aside (in ~2 years)= 137.9 PJ saving (MAX!) (Both assuming 90% boiler efficiencies)
Projections • With construction of boiler houses and piping completed by 2015 (assumption), 55.8 PJ+ 137.9 PJ (Miscanthus)= • 193.7 PJ by 2015 (assumes 100% of set aside) • Or 53.8 PJ of Electricity- available by 2015? • Forestry on set aside would take 30+ years to be able to sustain continuous production, Short Rotation Cropping lasts only 5-10 years
What about Biofuels? • Biodiesel most feasible wit h current infrastructure (from oilseed rape) • Set Aside Land: 11.9 PJ by 2010 • Assuming uptake by farmers, set aside and current crops: 99.5 PJ by 2015 • Its either this OR the Miscanthus, or more likely a mix of the two