The economics of bioenergy are largely determined by the capital cost of the plant, the ongoing requirement for feedstock and, to a lesser extent, the operational and maintenance expense. Capital costs and how they can be estimated based on similar projects overseas are discussed in Attachment 3 of Bioenergy in Australia: Status and opportunities [PDF, 9.1 MB], published by Bioenergy Australia in 2012. The delivered cost of biomass, generally and for case studies for wood pellets (Europe), mallees, pongamia and grasses, are discussed in Chapters 7–11. Evaluating the economics associated with collecting and delivering biomass feedstocks is discussed in Guidelines for developing a sustainable biomass supply chain [PDF, 1 MB], published by the University of Minnesota in 2011. Scoping Biorefineries: Temperate Biomass Value Chains [PDF, 1.7 MB], published by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, discusses:
- estimated biomass production potentially available as biorefinery feedstock from southern Australia (p. 40–43)
- indicative costs associated with production, harvest and transport
- assumed costs of producing, harvesting, chipping and transporting different feedstock types (Table 3‐5)
- estimated production and transport costs for different feedstock types and distances (p. 43–46, Table 3‐6)
- cost of infrastructure and operating bio‐refineries (p. 57).
- identify potential customers in your target market
- evaluate the latest economic conditions
- locate competitors and suppliers
- assess the viability of your business idea.