Frontiers of Chemical Science and Engineering

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 763–771 | Cite as

Techno-economic assessment of providing control energy reserves with a biogas plant

  • Ervin SaracevicEmail author
  • David Woess
  • Franz Theuretzbacher
  • Anton Friedl
  • Angela Miltner
Open Access
Research Article


Grid stability is being challenged by the increasing integration of power plants with volatile power generation into the energy system. Power supply fluctuations must be compensated by energy system flexibility. The storability of the energy carrier enables biogas plants to generate power flexibly. In this study, the technical and economic effects of providing positive secondary control energy reserves with an Austrian biogas plant were assessed. The plant’s main focus lies in biomethane production with the option of heat and power generation through combined heat and power (CHP) units. A detailed simulation model of the investigated biogas plant was developed, which is presented in this work. Ex-post simulations of one year of flexible plant operation were conducted with this model. The findings show that the installed biogas storage capacity is sufficient to provide control energy reserves while simultaneously producing biomethane. Profitability of providing control energy reserves largely depends on the prices at the control energy market and on CHP unit start-up costs. A cost efficiency analysis demonstrated that investing in a hot water tank with a volume of 5 m3 for short-term heat storage turned out to be economically viable.


biogas plant process simulation control energy reserves economic assessment gas storage 



This study was conducted over the course of the Bio (FLEX)Net project (project number D16621150400) that is supported by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG). Open access funding provided by TU Wien (TUW).


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Ervin Saracevic
    • 1
    Email author
  • David Woess
    • 2
  • Franz Theuretzbacher
    • 3
  • Anton Friedl
    • 1
  • Angela Miltner
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of ChemicalEnvironmental and Bioscience Engineering, TU WienViennaAustria
  2. 2.University of Natural Resources and Life SciencesViennaAustria
  3. 3.University of Applied SciencesWiener NeustadtAustria

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