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Techno-economic analysis of biomass micro-cogeneration facilities in buildings

Mimica, Marko; Tunjić, Mirko; Terlević, Klaudija

The recent efforts to accelerate the energy transition of Europe have opened new business opportunities for investors in renewable energy. Since the social acceptance of large energy infrastructure projects is declining, the role of consumers in residential and industrial buildings in energy production is increasing. Thus, with the energy production facilities, these buildings become prosumers. Micro-cogeneration biomass units represent a beneficial renewable energy production investment in the buildings because they can supply thermal and electric energy. However, a clear method for the profitability assessment of such investments should be proposed. This paper presents a method for investment evaluation of biomass micro-cogeneration units. The method includes the mapping, cost-benefit analysis and evaluation step. The case study was conducted on a government building in Croatia. The obtained results showed that the investment in a 30 kWe biomass cogeneration plant had an internal rate of return of 19.19% with a net present value of 185 005 € for the observed building. The results implicate that buildings can be actively included in the energy transition process by installing biomass micro-cogeneration. Moreover, there was an additional benefit for the investor because the secure thermal and electric energy supply was assured and an additional profit was generated from the selling of the electric energy. Further implications of the results are that there is a need for accelerating the integration of buildings in the energy transition process.

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