Feb. 5, 2009
ALL WELCOME and FREE ADMISSION
This talk will illustrate a unique feature of field sourced biomass plants: they have an optimum size at which costs are minimized. This arises from the competition between economies of scale in capital equipment, giving lower unit cost at larger size, vs. higher unit transport cost for larger sized plants.
Conventional wisdom that "you can't afford to transport biomass because of its low energy density" turns out to be wrong: the optimum size is far larger than conventional thinking suggests.
The talk will then illustrate a measure for screening renewable energy technologies: minimum incremental cost (vs. a fossil fuel alternative) per unit of avoided greenhouse gas emissions. Weaknesses in public policy regarding implementing green energy will be illustrated.
- Dr. Peter C. Flynn, Poole Chair in Management for Engineers