Co-generation of biofuels for transportation and heat for district heating systems – an assessment of the national possibilities in the EU
Journal article, 2009
Biomass gasification with subsequent synthesis to liquid or gaseous biofuels generates heat possible to use in district heating (DH) systems. The purpose here is to estimate the heat sink capacity of DH systems in the individual EU nations and assess the possibilities for biomass-gasification-based co-generation of synthetic biofuels for transportation and heat (CBH) for DH systems in the EU countries. The possibilities are assessed (i) assuming different levels of competiveness relative to other heat supply options of CBH corresponding to the EU target for renewable energy for transportation for 2020 and (ii) assuming that the potential expansion of the DH systems by 2020 is met with CBH. In general, the size of the DH heat sinks represented by the existing national aggregated DH systems can accommodate CBH at a scale that is significant compared to the 2020 renewable transportation target. The possibilities for CBH also depend on its cost-competitiveness compared to, e.g., fossil-fuel-based CHP. The possible expansion of the DH systems by 2020 represents an important opportunity for CBH and is also influenced by the potential increase in the use of other heat supply options, such as, industrial waste heat, waste incineration, and CHP.