There is broad portfolio of modern technologies for heat production from biomass, ranging from small scale single room stoves to heating or CHP-plants in MW scale. Investments costs in Europe show a similar variety: simple log wood stoves can be obtained from 100 €/kW, more sophisticated automated heating systems that cover the whole heat demand of a building are significantly more expensive. Log wood or pellet boilers range from 400-1200 €/kW, with large applications being cheaper than small systems. Considering the possible applications of this wide range of technologies especially in the household sector, higher investment costs were assumed for hightech regions of the OECD, the Eastern European Economies and Middle East. Sunny regions with low space heat demand as well as developing regions are covered with very low investment costs. Economy of scales apply to heating plants above 500kW, with investment cost between 400-700 €/kW. Heating plants can deliver process heat or provide whole neighbourhoods with heat. Even if heat networks demand additional investment, there is great potential to use solid biomass for heat generation in both small and large heating centres linked to local heating networks.
Cost reductions expected vary strongly within each technology sector, depending on the maturity of a specific technology. E.g. Small wood stoves will not see significant cost reductions, while there is still learning potential for automated pellet heating systems.
Cost for simple solar collectors for swimming pools might be already optimised, whereas integration in large systems is neither technological nor economical mature. Table 4.13 shows average development pathways for a variety of heat technology options.