Fuel costs

Biomass waste fuel costs vary widely but estimates across the USA suggest that the cost in North America is between $25/dry tonne and $60/dry tonne. Sawmill waste used close to the process plant might be obtained even more cheaply, for perhaps $17/dry tonne.

More important from a long-term perspective is the cost of energy crops. Table 15.3 shows some typical costs from around the world, but these figures should be used as a broad guide only, since the methods by which they were evaluated are not all directly comparable. As the table shows, costs can vary between $1/GJ and $5/GJ. Coal costs around $2/GJ.

In the USA, experimental projects suggest that switchgrass might be delivered for as little as $2.1/GJ and wood for $3.3/GJ. On this basis, switchgrass would be almost competitive with coal, but wood does not appear to be competitive yet.

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