Global Repowering Opportunities for Biomass

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Global demand for electricity is growing during a time of significant structural change in electric markets. Many countries are creating more competitive market environments for power production and sales through changes in regulation and ownership structure. Governments are reducing monopoly power, enhancing competition and unbundling electricity services into generation, transmission, anddistribution. Equipment suppliers, developers, and service providers are expanding into the global market anticipating new opportunities. Meeting the future electric energy needs, domestically and internationally, has forced the power community to examine a variety of alternatives to Greenfield Development. Repowering existing facilities to gain a competitive advantage is a promising option.Repowering has the potential to offer increased capacity, heat rate reductions, and improved environmental profiles in a manner that is consistent with an asset and capital deployment rationalization strategy that appears to characterize the future of the power industry. It is also a defensive strategy for extending the life of existing assets. The breadth of repowering options continues toexpand as new technologies are introduced to increase power plant capacities, efficiencies or both. Some options such as feedwater heater repowering appear to offer advantages to repowering with biomass fuels as an alternative to the natural gas projects that predominate in this approach. By repowering solid fueled facilities to permit efficient use of biomass feedstocks, both developed anddeveloping countries can receive multiple benefits. Most developing countries are largely agrarian with traditional policies that have relied on 'trickle-down' rural development. By turning agricultural and forestry by-products into commodities, development efforts are targeted at farmers and foresters who can then benefit from a sustainable source of income. As the power demand and subsequentbiomass requirements are expanded to a regional scale, the government can reduce some agricultural subsidies and shift that money to other economically and socially beneficial programs. Furthermore, rural development can minimize rural-to-urban flight and thus lessen the strain on already overburdened urban infrastructure.
Original languageAmerican English
PagesVol. I: 179-186
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 1996
EventSeventh National Bioenergy Conference - Nashville, Tennessee
Duration: 15 Sep 199620 Sep 1996


ConferenceSeventh National Bioenergy Conference
CityNashville, Tennessee

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Antares Group, Inc., Landover, Maryland

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-570-24421


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