Mitigating global climate change via CO 2 emission control and taxation is likely to enhance the economic potential of bioenergy production and utilization. This study investigated the cost competitiveness of woody biomass for electricity production in the US under alternative CO 2 emission reductions and taxes. We first simulated changes in the price of coal for electricity production due to CO 2 emission reductions and taxation using a computable general equilibrium model. Then, the costs of electricity generation fueled by energy crops (hybrid poplar), logging residues, and coal were estimated using the capital budgeting method. Our results indicate that logging residues would be competitive with coal if emissions were taxed at about US$25 Mg -1 CO 2 , while an emission tax US$100 Mg -1 CO 2 or higher would be needed for hybrid poplar plantations at a yield of 11.21 dry Mg ha -1 yr -1 (5 dry tons ac -1 yr -1 ) to compete with coal in electricity production. Reaching the CO 2 emission targets committed under the Kyoto Protocol would only slightly increase the price of fossil fuels, generating little impact on the competitiveness of woody biomass. However, the price of coal used for electricity production would significantly increase if global CO 2 emissions were curtailed by 20% or more. Logging residues would become a competitive fuel source for electricity production if current global CO 2 emissions were cut by 20-30%. Hybrid poplar plantations would not be able to compete with coal until emissions were reduced by 40% or more. Â© 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Electricity Production
- Co2 Emissions And Taxes
- Woody Biomass
- Computable General Equilibrium Modeling