Cost-effective use of biomass - A comparison between two model based studies
Conference contribution, 2006
In two different energy economy models of the global energy system, the cost-effective use of biomass under a stringent carbon constraint has been analyzed. Gielen et al. conclude that it is cost-effective to use biofuels for transportation, whereas Azar et al. find that it is more cost-effective to use most of the biomass to generate heat and process heat, despite the fact that assumptions about the cost of biofuels production is rather similar in the models. In this study, we compare the two models with the purpose to find an explanation for these different results. It is found that both models suggest that biomass is most cost-effectively used for heat production for low carbon taxes (below 50-100 USD/tC, depending on the year in question). But for higher carbon taxes the cost effective choice reverses in the BEAP model, but not in the GET model. The reason for that is that GET includes hydrogen from carbon free energy sources as a technology option, whereas that option is not allowed in the BEAP model. In all other sectors, both models include carbon free options above biomass. Thus with higher carbon taxes, biomass will eventually become the cost-effective choice in the transportation sector in BEAP, regardless of its technology cost parameters.
CO2 emission reduction
global energy systems modeling