Optimization of use of waste in the future energy system

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Alternative uses of waste for energy production become increasingly interesting when considered from two perspectives, that of waste management and the energy system perspective. This paper presents the results of an enquiry into the use of waste in a future energy system. The analysis was performed using the energy system analysis model, Balmorel. The study is focused on Germany and the Nordic countries and demonstrates the optimization of both investments and production within the energy systems. The results present cost optimization excluding taxation concerning the use of waste for energy production in Denmark in a 2025 scenario with 48% renewable energy. Investments in a range of waste conversion technologies are facilitated, including waste incineration, co-combustion with coal, anaerobic digestion, and gasification. The most economically feasible solutions are found to be incineration of mixed waste, anaerobic digestion of organic waste, and gasification of part of the potential RDF (refuse derived fuel) for CHP (combined heat and power) production, while the remaining part is co-combusted with coal. Co-combustion mainly takes place in new coal-fired power plants, allowing investments to increase in comparison with a situation where only investments in waste incineration are allowed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy
Volume36
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1612-1622
ISSN0360-5442
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
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    Research areas

  • Intelligent energy systems

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