Biomass Feedstock for Electricity Generation


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Biomass Feedstock for Electricity Generation

A cost-benefit analysis of using Rooikrans as biomass feedstock for electricity generation: A case study of the De Hoop Reserve, South Africa

Shepherd Mudavanhu, James Blignaut, Nonophile Nkambule, Tshepo Morokong, Thulile Vundla

SAJEMS Asset research NS 19 (2016) No 5:788-813

Abstract

Invasive alien plants (IAPs) like Rooikrans (Acacia Cyclops) have several undesirable effects on both the natural environment and the social, economic and cultural wellness of society in the De Hoop nature reserve of the Western Cape Province. A few of these negative effects are: the change in coastal sediment dynamics, the change in seed dispersal dynamics, and the fact that it is overtaking native plants. However, Rooikrans can also potentially be used as biomass feedstock for electricity generation. Following a system dynamics modelling approach, the feasibility of using woody biomass from Rooikrans was investigated. The RE-model used data obtained from the Department of Environmental Affairs’ (DEA) Natural Resource Management (NRM) division, consulted with experts and conducted literature reviews with respect to the subject matter. Three scenarios were tested and the RE-model results showed that all scenarios have a positive cumulative Net Present Values (NPVs), with the exception of the baseline case scenario. This study shows that the production of electricity using Rooikrans woody biomass is a viable and feasible option in comparison with electricity production by diesel generators.

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