AEMO 100% renewable energy study. Potential for electricity generation in Australia from biomass in 2010, 2030 and 2050

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Crawford, Debbie; Jovanovic, Tom; O'Connor, Mike; Herr, Alexander Herr - Herry ORCID ID icon; Raison, John; Baynes, Tim ORCID ID icon



24 p

In July 2012, CSIRO was contracted by Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to provide information on renewable energy supply and electricity generation opportunities for the East coast of Australia. CSIRO was asked by AEMO to investigate a subset of technologies, and AEMO contracted other organisations to investigate other technologies. The information supplied to AEMO will be used by AEMO as part of a "100% renewable supply" project that the Federal Government has requested AEMO to undertake. This report was commissioned by AEMO to inform their modelling of electricity generation scenarios where renewable energy provides 100 percent of the primary energy resource. This report outlines the potential of biomass to contribute to the supply of renewable energy to the electricity sector and is one of several reports contributed by CSIRO to the AEMO study. The potential contribution to electricity generation in 2010, 2030 and 2030 has been estimated for the following types of biomass resources: - wood (pulp logs, in‐field woody harvest residues, and processing residues) from plantations and native forests - wood from newly established tree crops that are managed on short rotations (SRT) - crop residues (stubble) - residue remaining after processing of sugar cane (bagasse) - grasses that could be harvested for bioenergy - Municipal Solid Waste (MSW), Construction and Demolition (CD) and Commercial and Industrial (CI) wastes that contain mainly organic materials, but also other materials such as plastic that could be combusted. The focus of this report is on estimating the amounts of biomass that could be potentially available ‐ constraints imposed by the logistics of harvest, storage and transport, or by economics have not been applied, and are only briefly discussed in this report. Due to expected new tree crop plantings, potentially available biomass increases from about 68 Mt/yr currently, to about 96 Mt/yr in 2050. Electricity generation that could be derived from this feedstock increases from about 85 to 125 TWh/yr over the same period. The contribution of various biomass types varies regionally, and over time as new biomass sources are established. In some AEMO regions near to major population centres, electricity generation potential is currently 5‐10 TWh/yr, increasing to 10‐17 TWh/yr by 2050. Whilst biomass has the potential to contribute significantly to direct baseload electricity generation in someregions, it may play a more important role as an energy storage medium coupled with other renewable energy sources, thus facilitating a stable supply of renewable electricity.


Natural Resource Management

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Crawford, Debbie; Jovanovic, Tom; O'Connor, Mike; Herr, Alexander Herr - Herry; Raison, John; Baynes, Tim. AEMO 100% renewable energy study. Potential for electricity generation in Australia from biomass in 2010, 2030 and 2050. CSIRO; 2012.

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