Monetization of External Costs Using Lifecycle Analysis—A Comparative Case Study of Coal-Fired and Biomass Power Plants in Northeast China

Lingling Wang*, Tsunemi Watanabe*, Zhiwei Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, the structures of external costs are built in line with coal-fired and biomass power plant life cycle activities in Northeast China. The external cost of coal-fired and biomass power plants was compared, using the lifecycle approach. In addition, the external costs of a biomass power plant are calculated for each stage for comparison with those of a coal-fired power plant. The results highlight that the external costs of a coal-fired plant are 0.072 US $/kWh, which are much higher than that of a biomass power plant, 0.00012 US$/kWh. The external cost of coal-fired power generation is as much as 90% of the current price of electricity generated by coal, while the external cost of a biomass power plant is 1/1000 of the current price of electricity generated by biomass. In addition, for a biomass power plant, the external cost associated with SO2, NOX, and PM2.5 are particularly lower than those of a coal-fired power plant. The prospect of establishing precise estimations for external cost mechanisms and sustainable energy policies is discussed to show a possible direction for future energy schemes in China. The paper has significant value for supporting the biomass power industry and taxing or regulating coal-fired power industry to optimize the energy structure in China.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1440-1467
Number of pages28
JournalEnergies
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes

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