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Simulating the use of biomass in electricity with the green electricity simulate model: An application to the French power generation

Vincent Bertrand () and Elodie Le Cadre

Working Papers from Chaire Economie du climat

Abstract: This paper presents the version 1.0 of the Green Electricity Simulate (GES), which is a simulation model that has been designed to investigate questions related to biomass-based electricity in the European countries, with a special focus on the biomass co-firing in coal plants. We extend previous works in essentially three directions. We provide the first simulation model for electricity taking into account co-firing with a wide range of induced effects. Second, we analyze the impact of co-firing on decisions about prolongation or decommissioning of out-of-lifetime coal plants. Finally, we investigate the consequences of recognizing co-firing as a contribution to achieve the Renewable Energy Source (RES) objectives in power generation. As an illustration, we apply the model to the French power sector. Overall, the results indicate that the biomass demand from co-firing is much greater than that from dedicated biomass units, and that co-firing can heavily influence the composition of the fleet under certain circumstances and policy arrangements. In addition, we show that increasing the carbon price generates a move towards quality that induces consuming more high-quality biomass (e.g. wood pellets or torrefied pellets). We also identify that co-firing may encourage to prolonging coal plants that would be decommissioned otherwise. Finally, we find that recognizing the biomass part of co-firing as a renewable may lead to maintaining a high share of coal in the power mix, which may be a concern for social acceptability in the long run.

Keywords: Biomass-Based Electricity; Co-Firing; Crops rotations; Electricity Simulation Model; Decommissioning or Prolongation; Investment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 70 pages
Date: 2015
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