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Benefits of using an optimization methodology for identifying robust process integration investments under uncertainty - A pulp mill example

Journal article
Authors Elin Svensson
Thore Berntsson
Ann-Brith Strömberg
Published in Energy Policy
Volume 37
Issue 3
Pages 813-824
ISSN 0301-4215
Publication year 2009
Published at Department of Mathematical Sciences, Mathematics
Pages 813-824
Language en
Keywords process integration, stochastic programming, investment planning
Subject categories Optimization, systems theory, Chemical energy engineering, Other industrial engineering and economics, Paper, Pulp and Fiber Technology


This paper presents a case study on the optimization of process integration investments in a pulp mill considering uncertainties in future electricity and biofuel prices and CO2 emissions charges. The work follows the methodology described in Svensson et al. [Svensson, E., Berntsson, T., Strömberg, A.-B., Patriksson, M., 2008b. An optimization methodology for identifying robust process integration investments under uncertainty. Accepted for publication in EnergyPolicy] where a scenario-based approach is proposed for the modelling of uncertainties. The results show that the proposed methodology provides a way to handle the time dependence and the uncertainties of the parameters. For the analyzed case, a robust solution is found which turns out to be a combination of two opposing investment strategies. The difference between short-term and strategic views for the investment decision is analyzed and it is found that uncertainties are increasingly important to account for as a more strategic view is employed. Furthermore, the results imply that the obvious effect of policy instruments aimed at decreasing CO2 emissions is, in applications like this, an increased profitability for all energy efficiency investments, and not as much a shift between different alternatives.

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