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Techno-economic toolkits


​Techno-economic assessment (TEA) is a generic tool in process and product development of all process industries and authorities requiring a systematic assessment of new ideas. TEA combines process modeling and engineering design with economic evaluation providing both quantitative and qualitatively understanding of the impacts on the financial viability and emissions.

VTT has variety of tools for process integration, process modeling, economic evaluations, sensitivity analysis and streamlined LCA analyses. VTT has conducted several TEA case studies based on real industrial plants and their environments within energy production and carbon intensive industry. As one outcome of the TEA studies we often provide interactive customer-tailored toolkits in which the economic feasibility and emission reduction potential can be analysed. The outlook is provided from the investor’s point of view in different market conditions considering also the impacts on surrounding system and uncertainties.

Please visit some of our interactive toolkit solutions presenting case examples from bioenergy, combined heat and power, carbon capture & storage, power-to-gas and other solar energy related applications:

Feasibility of Bio-CCS in CHP production - A Case Study of Biomass Co-firing Plant in Finland > Toolkit

This case describes implications of applying Bio-CCS for a Finnish 482 MWfuel CHP-plant using pure biomass, pure peat and biomass-peat co-firing. Effect of carbon capture and storage on greenhouse gas balance and operation economics of the plant with different fuel ratios are compared to the base case plant production with varying parameters of plant operation. In the study it is assumed that the economic incentive for negative CO2 emission is included in EU ETS.

The plant is equipped with a modern circulating fluidised bed (CFB) boiler which is using oxy-fuel technology in the CCS applications. Regarding the emission balances, besides the site emissions, the main effects on global GHG-emissions are also taken into account by using streamlined LCA. The plant is connected to the existing district heating network where other CHP plant (fired with 50 % peat and 50 % biomass) already exists. The other plant and limited district heat consumption within the area limits the benefits obtained from CCS heat recovery. 

Techno-economical studies about performance of industrial scale CLC power plant > Toolkit

In this study the primary focus is on economic evaluations for industrial scale greenfield chemical-looping-combustion (CLC) power plant. In the tool it is possible to analyse the operation with different input parameters and make comparison to both oxy-fired circulating fluidised bed (CFB) plant and normal air-fired CFB plant using coal as a fuel. The whole CCS chain, including CO2 capture, processing, transport and storage, is included. As there is no storage capacity in Finland the captured CO2 has to be transported and stored abroad.

In the toolkit, the profitability of each case can be analysed according to different market situations by adjusting plants operation and the most significant input values. In addition to plant and case specific technical inputs, the economic parameters can be varied as well as CCS related costs, for example required investment, transportation costs, prices for oxygen carrier materials etc.

Feasibility of residential and commercial scale solar applications > Toolkit

Cost and feasibility analysis of different solar applications are included in the dynamic toolkit for sensitivity analysis with varying economic parameters. The purpose is to enable comparison of costs for:

  • Residential scale PV, solar heating and heat pump preheat
  • Commercial scale PV and solar heating

The main outputs are the pay-back times for different investment. The pay-back times for residential scale applications are presented as a function of the replaced/alternative energy purchase price. Commercial scale solar heat installations are presented as a function of the replaced heat cost and with different interest rates and installation sizes.

Electricity production costs and specific CO2 emission for CSP-CFB hybrid power plant > Toolkit

In this study electricity production cost analysis tool for CSP-CFB hybrid power plant with different CO2 reductions levels is presented. The case studies include different mixtures of coal and biomass co-fired in a circulating fluidised bed (CFB) boiler integrated with concentrated solar power (CSP) plants. Results include for example the break-even price for available sustainable biomass, which would turn investment on CSP and integration feasible over the case, where greater amount of biomass is purchased.

The properties of modelled CFB boiler are based on existing 400 MWe plant resulting very large solar field. The considered fuel mixes include the required biomass shares to reach emission performance standards (EPS) levels of CO2 in the both dimensioning cases and with different operation schemes of the plants. The chosen approach was to use equal annual electricity production for all the cases around the year.

Feasibility of power-to-gas production > Toolkit

With this tool the feasibility of synthetic natural gas (SNG) production based on power-to-gas concept can be analysed for two cases with different investment costs, interest rate, lifetime, O&M costs and unit efficiencies to ease the comparison of different inputs.

Investment costs, O&M costs and electricity costs play the major role among the production costs of SNG. Electrolysis and methanation are the main processes of which capital costs can be entered separately in this tool. Fixed costs consist of investment costs (with auxiliary equipment) and O&M costs (personnel, maintenance, replacements). Variable costs consist of electricity costs for electrolysis (main proportion), CO2 purchase costs (depending on the source), and methane feed-in costs to the pipeline. The incomes consist of oxygen incomes from electrolysis and heat incomes from methanation in which the heat production rate determines how much heat can be utilized. As main results SNG production cost graph [€/kWhCH4] with different peak load factors and a cost breakdown of P2G production graph are presented.

Biomass co-firing in a Finnish CHP-plant > Toolkit

The goal is to evaluate economic feasibility of biomass co-firing in a greenfield Finnish CHP-plant equipped with a CFB-boiler. The plant is connected to the existing district heating network and it is studied with different fuel-shares of coal, peat and biomass. The approach is based on constant district heat and electricity outputs with variable case specific parameters.

When evaluating the feasibility of a co-firing investment and operation, various aspects must be considered. As values for some variables (such as investment or O&M costs) are difficult to obtain and some (such as electricity price, subsidies) can change quickly, the aim was to build interactive tool that would allow the user to change the inputs and then see in illustrative way, how the changes affect the results.

Quick instructions for the toolkits:

  • The Flash objects start after short initialization (Note! Adobe Flash Player required)
  • See descriptions in the Intro and Boundaries tabs
  • Select key variables using interactive menus
  • Study the costs and other impacts with different inputs