Burn or let them bury? The net social cost of producing district heating from imported waste

Thomas Broberg, Elbert Dijkgraaf, Sef Meens-Eriksson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
35 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In this study, a net social cost framework is applied to provide insights on policy issues relating to the cross-border trade in waste fuel. We estimate the net social cost of using imported waste fuel in a highly efficient combined heat and power plant (CHP) in a cold climate by considering both private costs and benefits as well as external costs related to energy production, alternative waste management and fuel transport. We conclude that using imported waste fuel is beneficial from a societal perspective compared to using biofuel, given the wide range of assumptions regarding technical, economic and environmental characteristics. The net social cost is mainly determined by fuel cost advantages and the external cost of greenhouse gas emissions. External costs associated with transports only marginally impact the net social cost of waste imports for incineration. The results are robust to variation in the excess heat utilisation rate, which implies that importing waste for incineration would also be beneficial in countries with warmer climates where district heating networks already exist.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105713
JournalEnergy Economics
Volume105
Early online date24 Nov 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

JEL Classification: Q48, Q53, Q56, Q58
Funding Information:
This paper is part of research project funded by the Swedish Competition Authority ( Dnr 627/2018 ). In its early stage, the paper was funded by the Green Technology and Environmental Economics Program at Umeå University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

Funding Information:
This paper is part of research project funded by the Swedish Competition Authority ( Dnr 627/2018 ). In its early stage, the paper was funded by the Green Technology and Environmental Economics Program at Umeå University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Burn or let them bury? The net social cost of producing district heating from imported waste'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this