ECOP: an economic model to assess the willow short rotation coppice global profitability in a case of a small gasification pathway in Belgium.

François Goor, Jean Marc Jossart, J.F. Ledent

    Research outputpeer-review


    This paper presents a software package developed to assess the economic profitability of an original way to produce renewable energy: the small scale gasification of willow cultivated as short rotation coppice (SRC) in Belgium. The theoretical bases of the model (process hypotheses and economic indicators) are firstly presented together with the most relevant characteristics of the energy production route (SRC management and wood production, storage and conversion). A reference case is then defined which combines the most influencing parameters (reference interest rate, rotation length, subsidies, harvest mode, SRC yield, power of the electricity generator and annual production of electricity). A sensitivity analysis on these parameters highlighted that the project profitability, from the net present value point of view, is very sensitive to the reference interest rate, to the subsidies (of the conversion unit but probably also of any other kind of subsidies), to the SRC yield and to the generator power, all other parameters remaining constant. The rotation length has only a low influence, at least in the range of classic values (3 to 7 years). To harvest the wood in stems (with delayed chipping) seems also to be the most interesting option.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)279-292
    JournalEnvironmental modelling and software
    StatePublished - 2000

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