Waste to Energy System Simulation Model (WESyS) - Scenario Inputs and Supplemental Tableau Workbook
Daniel Inman, Ethan Warner, Anelia Milbrandt, Alberta Carpenter, Ling Tao, Emily Newes, and Steve Peterson (Lexidyne, LLC)
Conversion of biogas from organic waste materials to usable energy (electricity, compressed natural gas [CNG], pipeline-quality natural gas [PQNG], and biofuel) has received attention because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency categorized biogas-derived energy as a cellulosic biofuel in 2014, making it eligible to collect renewable identification number credits under this designation. NREL developed the Waste-to-Energy System Simulation model to help understand the development of the waste-to-energy system. The objective of this study is to identify barriers to energy production from waste materials, provide insights on the role of policy for this market, and identify data/modeling gaps in the existing modeling and data structure. This study is focused on biogas resources derived from landfills and from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) at a national level. Our results suggest that collection and conversion of biogas to energy from landfills and CAFOs has the potential to generate as much as 400 million giga joules (GJ) annually, with the largest energy potential from swine CAFOs. This study highlights the impact of system levers: such as the time delay between deciding to invest and having a completed facility and operating costs.
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