A4. Feasibility study for alternative uses of reed biomass

G. Markogiannakis and G. Giannakidis

Within the framework of the project «Prespa Waterbirds - Bird conservation in Lesser Prespa Lake: benefiting local communities and building a climate change resilient ecosystem», which is co-financed by the European Union under LIFE 15 NAT/GR/000936, a prefeasibility study  for the exploitation of available biomass for heating purposes was performed.  The study focussed on covering the heating needs of the Municipal buildings, namely the Town Hall, the Multiple uses municipal building, the Kindergarten, the High School and the Library of Lemos as well as Patoulidio Sports Centre.A preliminary estimation of the biomass potential showed that the annual available quantity of Phragmites australis can reach 200-300 tons of dry biomass and therefore 100-150 tons of dry biomass can be available during the winter period. A conservative estimate of the available quantity of residues from the cultivation of beans reaches a level of 320 tons of dry biomass per year. Furthermore, as a by-product of the cultivation of beans, at least 284 tons of Arundo dorax canes which are used for supporting the bean plants, are available annually. This quantity of biomass is more than adequate to cover the heating needs of the municipal buildings of Prespes Municipality. The alternative scenarios that were examined in the present study include the following:

  1. installation of independent biomass fired boilers in each of the five buildings which has an estimated total investment cost of 83000Euros and a simple payback period of almost 3 years, which is rather promising;
  2. installation of a district heating mini-network which could cover the five buildings in Lemos. Two alternative sub-scenarios were analysed in this case one covering the heating needs of three buildings and one covering the heating needs of two buildings by the district heating network. The financial analysis of the district heating network in the case of five buildings within Lemos has a discounted payback of almost 19 years while in the case of 50% funding the payback period reduces to ten years. The district heating for three buildings has a discounted payback of 18 years and the district heating for two buildings has a discounted payback of 17.9 years.

One of the main issues in using reeds in independent boilers is the possibility to feed the boilers automatically. In this case the production and use of pellets might be a viable alternative which should be further exploited. The installation of a pellet producing unit could be an option for the exploitation of the total quantity of available biomass in the municipality. The production of pellets could become a commercial activity of the Municipality which could contribute to the municipal budget.  Although the financial analysis of the district heating system is not very encouraging the possibility of covering the heating needs of more buildings through the expansion of the network and the use of available funding sources should be analysed in detail and could improve the economics of the investment considerably. The installation of a cogeneration of heat and power plant should be further exploited in the case of an expanded heating network.

Μακρογιαννάκης, Γ., Γιαννακίδης, Γ., 2017. Προμελέτη σκοπιμότητας αξιοποίησης της διαθέσιμης βιομάζας για τη θέρμανση δημοτικών κτιρίων του Δήμου Πρεσπών. Αναφορά στο πλαίσιο του προγράμματος « LIFE Prespa Waterbirds» (LIFE15 NAT/GR/000936). Εταιρία Προστασίας Πρεσπών.   

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