Facilitating the Adoption of Biomass Co-firing for Power Generation

Australian trials and overseas experience have demonstrated that existing coal-fired power stations can burn a small percentage of biomass with little or no modification. This has great potential to reduce emissions. In Queensland alone, using only 3 percent by energy value of biomass in existing coal fired stations has the potential to achieve greenhouse gas emissions savings of about 1.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per annum.

However this would require about 1.3 million tonnes of biomass. Accessing this quantity at a price that makes biomass co-firing economically viable is one of the key issues identified in a study undertaken by E3 and published in 2011. Unlike coal, biomass would need to be obtained from many sources so there are the logistics of organising the supply and transport of biomass to consider. Other barriers to adoption were also identified, along with strategies to address them, in this wide-ranging study.

The report was co-funded by RIRDC, the Queensland Office of Clean Energy (part of the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, DEEDI) and three Queensland electricity generators – CS Energy, NRG Gladstone Operating Services and Tarong Energy (now Stanwell Corporation).

Facilitating the Adoption of Biomass Co-firing for Power Generation is available for free download or purchase from the RIRDC website