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Relation between greenhouse gas emissions and economic profit for different configurations of biogas value chains

A case study on different levels of sector integration.

Biogas production through anaerobic digestion of organic waste and manure can potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions in several sectors such as the waste, transport, energy and agricultural sector. The aim of this scientific paper was to study the effect of different levels of sector integration in biogas value chains, and to discuss how different policy measures and regulations influence the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Environmental impacts and economic profit were calculated for four different biogas value chain configurations in Norway. Further, the most profitable scenario was used as a reference to calculate the economic incentives needed to make the other scenarios as profitable as the reference.

The results show that a broad integration of sectors is beneficial in terms of reduction of greenhouse gases. There is, however, a negative coherency between reduction of greenhouse gases and economic profitability when it comes to different levels of sector integration. The calculations showed that only a small increase in economic incentives are necessary to make biomethane for transport purposes as profitable as the reference. Inclusion of the agricultural sector into waste-based biogas value chains appears to be challenging and is likely to require greater incentives.

Link to the article.