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Economic and Technical Evaluation of Flexible Power Generation Scenarios for a Biogas Plant

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 8, Issue 2, June 2020, pp 328-343
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d7.0289
Ervin Saracevic1 , Franz Theuretzbacher2, David Woess3, Anton Friedl1, Angela Miltner1
1 Institute of Chemical, Environmental and Bioscience Engineering, TU Wien, Getreidemarkt 9/166, Vienna, Austria
2 University of Applied Sciences, Johannes-Gutenberg-Straße 3, Wiener Neustadt, Austria
3 University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Gregor-Mendel-Straße 33, Vienna, Austria


Biogas plants can contribute significantly to the integration of renewable energy sources in the energy system due to their flexible operability. The storability of the energy carrier enables them to generate power in a demand-oriented way and to participate in electricity markets that focus on balancing power supply and demand. In this study process simulation was used to investigate the economic and technical effects of flexible power generation on an Austrian biogas plant that focuses on biomethane production.
Three different power generation scenarios were evaluated considering participation in the electricity spot market and markets for control energy reserves, while continuously producing biomethane. The results show that no major technical adaptions are needed for flexible power generation but an appropriate support scheme (premium system) is required to make demand-oriented power generation economically viable. The determined required premium was 37.3-99.9 EUR/MWh depending on the power generation scenario.

Keywords: Biogas, Process simulation, Flexible power generation, Economic assessment, Spot market, Control energy reserves, Biogas storage.

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