Co-firing in Coal Power Plants and its Impact on Biomass Feedstock Availability

Several states have a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) and allow for biomass co-firing to meet the RPS requirements. In addition, a federal renewable fuel standard (RFS) mandates an increase in cellulosic ethanol production over the next decade. This paper quantifies the effects on local biomass supply and demand of different co-firing policies imposed on 398 existing coal-fired power plants. Our model indicates which counties are most likely to be able to sustain cellulosic ethanol plants in addition to co-firing electric utilities. The simulation incorporates the county-level biomass market of corn stover, wheat straw, switchgrass, and forest residues as well as endogenous crop prices. Our scenarios indicate that there is sufficient feedstock availability in Southern Minnesota, Iowa, and Central Illinois. Significant supply shortages are observed in Eastern Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, and the tri-state area of Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky which are characterized by a high density of coal-fired power plants with high energy output.

Issue Date:
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
PURL Identifier:
Total Pages:

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-26

Download fulltext

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)