A standard methodology for the evaluation and selection of the business cases will be developed so that all the business case studies will apply the same investigation tool and the results will be comparable.
All the data, including the risk analysis, necessary to take decisions will be available for the future potential investors (engineering/manufacturing companies, plant operators and biomass suppliers, public and private investors).
The methodology for evaluating and selecting the business case will be designed as a multi-step screening tool evaluating the risks by order of decreasing importance. The risk analysis will be based on the evaluation of different parameters at short and long term perspective (i.e. 20 years or horizon 2040):
- Conditions for accessing to the biomass feedstock, including transport, handling, preservation and logistics considerations, and best alternative use of feedstock and economic performance of them.
- Conditions for exporting and using the energy end-products at local level and/or in the regional/national grids and networks. Conditions for valorising the fertilizer co-products in surrounding agricultural land.
- Technical and environmental performances from pilot scale experiments and perspectives of performances after scaling-up to industrial level (inputs from the project).
- Economic performances including variations of purchasing costs of the biomass, reagents and utilities and sales prices of the exported main and by-products.
- Regulatory frameworks for the development of biofuels.
The overall performances and risks may vary from one territory to another one. It is expected that the new technologies and business model based on small-scale industrial plants will be able to mitigate these risks, and therefore to find a large amount of situations where the deployment of ethanol plants will be possible and sustainable.