The potential for biomass co-firing with coal in EU27
Conference contribution, 2008
The European Union (EU) aims to increase the use of bioenergy. An increased production of electricity from renewable energy sources (RES-E) is also being promoted within the EU. Biomass co-firing with coal represents an attractive near-term option for increasing the production of RES-E. This study assesses the near-term technical potential for biomass co-firing with coal in the existing coal-fired power plant infrastructure in the EU27 Member States (MS) and relates the potential to the national EU targets for RES-E by 2010. The possible contribution of RES-E from biomass co-firing to the RES-E target for 2010 for EU27 as a whole (expressed in absolute numbers) is about 10%. However, the contribution from the estimated co-firing potential to the gap between current RES-E levels and the RES-E target for 2010 is about 20-33% for EU27 (depending on assumptions made). For some MS the potential contribution is large enough to fill the gap. Biomass co-firing with coal has the potential to play an important role when increasing the amount of RES-E in EU27. However, considering how little time remains, it is unlikely that co-firing can actually make a considerable contribution to the 2010 RES-E targets.