Program offers guidance on biofuel feasibility
A computer program is now available to help electricity providers judge the feasibility of using biofuels — such as wood, animal waste and landfill gas — to generate power. The free Biopower Toolkit from the Columbia, Mo.-based Community Policy Analysis Center (CPAC) at the University of Missouri-Columbia is available to public and private sector power utilities.
The toolkit provides a customized analysis of the availability and prices of biofuels in the clients’ areas, according to Thomas Johnson, CPAC director. It includes a Biopower Impact Calculator to create an optimal mix of fuels for the utility and to predict revenue. Three case studies are included in the kit that demonstrate successful uses of biofuels.
Landfill gas, a fuel available to many city and county utilities, was generally successful at providing power and revenue. “Everybody could make money on it, and it’s probably even more profitable now that energy prices have gone up,” Johnson says. The toolkit can be downloaded from CPAC’s Web site, http://www.cpac.missouri.edu, or can be ordered on CD.