Biopower from direct firing of crop and forestry residues in China: A review of developments and investment outlook
Journal article, 2015

This paper reviews developments in the direct-fired biomass power sector and provides an up to date investment outlook by calculating the Net Present Value of new investments, and the appropriate level of Feed-in-Tariff needed to stimulate future investment. An overview is provided of support policies, historical growth in installations, and main market players. A number of data sources is combined to build a database with detailed information of individual biopower projects. This data is used to describe technological and market trends, which are used in a cash flow model to calculate the NPV of a typical project. The NPV for new projects is estimated to be negative, and investment should be expected to stall without proper policy intervention. Increasing fuel prices, local competition over biomass fuel resources, lower than expected operational performance and a downturn in carbon markets have deteriorated the investment outlook. In order to ensure reasonable profitability, the Feed-In-Tariff should be increased, from the current level of 90.9 € MWh−1, to between 97 and 105 € MWh−1. Where possible, government organizations should help organize demand for the supply of heat. Local rural energy bureaus may help organize supply networks for biomass fuels throughout the country, in order to reduce seasonal and local fuel scarcity and price fluctuations.

Net Present Value (NPV)

Financial parameters

Investment outlook


Biomass power


Jorrit Gosens

Chalmers, Energy and Environment, Environmental Systems Analysis

Biomass and Bioenergy

0961-9534 (ISSN)

Vol. 73 110-123

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Innovation and entrepreneurship

Areas of Advance


Subject Categories

Economics and Business



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