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Economics of Co-firing Coal and Biomass: An Application to Western Canada

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dc.contributor.author Johnston, Craig M.T.
dc.contributor.author van Kooten, G. Cornelis
dc.date.accessioned 2016-01-06T19:44:41Z
dc.date.copyright 2015 en_US
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.identifier.citation Johnston, C.M.T. & G.C. van Kooten, 2015. Economics of Co-firing Coal and Biomass: An Application to Western Canada, Energy Economics 48:7-17 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140988314003004
dc.identifier.uri http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eneco.2014.11.015
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1828/7014
dc.description.abstract Co-firing biomass and coal in retrofitted power plants is an efficient means to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the energy sector. Under IPCC reporting rules, the impacts of energy produced from biomass would not be reported in the energy sector, thereby effectively lowering the emissions intensity of a power plant. In this study, a carbon tax is compared to a feed-in tariff for incentivizing conversion of coal plants to co-fire with biomass. In the application, a model of the Alberta electrical grid with an intertie to British Columbia is linked to a fibre transportation model for these provinces. Results indicate that there is an upper threshold on a carbon tax after which retrofitting of coal plants is less efficient than increasing natural gas generating capacity. This is not the case with a feed-in tariff as it specifically targets biomass energy. Although the optimal generating mix achieved with a carbon tax leads to lower aggregate emissions than the mix achieved using a feed-in tariff, it will result in higher average generating costs. Results indicate that it is optimal for Alberta to retrofit approximately 500 MW of current coal capacity (8.6%) to co-fire with biomass, although Alberta wood pellet production acts as a constraint on further conversions en_US
dc.description.sponsorship The authors wish to thank financial support from NSERC’s Value Chain Optimization Network and SSHRC. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher Energy Economics en_US
dc.subject climate change en_US
dc.subject co-firing en_US
dc.subject biomass energy en_US
dc.subject mathematical programming en_US
dc.subject carbon tax en_US
dc.subject feed-in tariff en_US
dc.title Economics of Co-firing Coal and Biomass: An Application to Western Canada en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.description.scholarlevel Faculty en_US
dc.description.reviewstatus Reviewed en_US
dc.description.embargo 2019-03-01


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