NC State
BioResources
Bikár, M., Sedliačiková, M., Vavrová, K., Moresová, M., and Hitka, M. (2018). "Does the combustion of biomass increase the efficiency of heating companies? Evidence from Slovakia," BioRes. 13(2), 2452-2472.

Abstract

Over the last decade, the consumption of renewable energy within the EU increased by 66%, and corporations have recognized that heating with wood waste is a cost-effective response to fluctuating fuel prices and a means of avoiding waste disposal costs. The main objective of this paper was to determine whether the combustion of biomass compared with the use of fossil fuels as the primary heat source would increase the efficiency in Slovak heating companies. This research was evaluated via methods of synthesis, analyses, and financial analyses. The survey found that heating companies with combined productions had better economic results. Based on the peer group comparison, heating companies using renewable resources achieved remarkably higher performance indicators. Among renewable energy sources, total biomass plays an important role and accounted for just over two thirds (64%) of the gross inland energy consumption of renewables in the EU. Wood pellets and agglomerates are currently the most economical way of converting biomass into fuel and are a fast-growing source of energy in Europe. The economic efficiency and key performance indicators strongly depend on the input prices of the energy carriers. In the last decade, the cost of heat produced from natural gas amounted on average to two to three times the cost of deciduous wood. Biomass production can generate employment, and if intensive agriculture is replaced by less intensively managed energy crops, there are likely to be environmental benefits, such as reduced leaching of fertilizers and reduced use of pesticides.


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