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Energy for Biscuit Baking

Energy for Biscuit Baking

Gas has been and continues to be the predominant fuel for biscuit baking ovens. The development and availability of natural gas supplies have made gas the main fuel for the baking industry throughout the world. Countries where electricity was the main energy source, for example China and countries where diesel oil was used for example India and the Middle East now use gas as the lowest cost energy source.

Electricity and gas prices in USD per kWh 2019 - 2020

  Electricity Gas
USA 0.15 0.032
Germany 0.38 0.042
United Kingdom 0.26 0.060
Japan 0.29 0.089
Brazil 0.15 0.042


Fossil fuels have been the cheapest source of power for generating electricity. However, burning fossil fuels for generating electricity and heat is the largest source of greenhouse gases, causing 30% of global emissions.

The concern over climate change and the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions has led to rapid development of renewable energy sources, solar, hydropower and wind. In addition nuclear power is an increasing source for the generation of electricity. The methods of the generation of electricity have changed during the last 10 years and now power from some renewables is cheaper than from new fossil fuels.

The price of electricity from new power plants

LCOE (Levelised costs of energy): based on the cost of building the power plant and the costs of fuel and operation during the plants lifetime

USD/MWh 2009 2019
Solar photovoltaic 359 40
Solar thermal tower 168 141
Nuclear 123 155
Onshore wind 135 41
Coal 111 109
Gas peaker 275 175
Gas 83 56


Electricity costs from solar fell 13% year-on-year reaching USD 0.068 / kWh in 2019. Onshore and offshore wind costs fell about 9% year on year to USD 0.053 / kWh and USD 0.115 / kWh respectively for newly commissioned projects.
Renewables made up 26.2% of global electricity generation in 2018. It is expected to rise to 45% by 2040

Over half of all utility-scale renewable capacity additions in 2019 achieved lower costs than the cheapest equivalent new coal plant. Renewables already account for almost 30% of global electricity output and this is predicted to rise substantially.

Power generation costs for renewable energy

USD/kWh 2010 2021
Solar photovoltaic 0.37 0.05
Solar CSP 0.35 0.07
Offshore wind 0.16 0.13
Onshore wind 0.08 0.05

The price of generation from onshore wind and solar PV-generated power have both fallen below USD 0.05 / kWh. Fossil fuel-powered generation usually costs between USD 0.05/kWh and 0.18/kWh. These developments will continue based on concerns over climate change and the need to reduce carbon emissions. This will affect the options for energy for biscuit baking.

Future developments for biscuit baking

It is predicted that electricity will in the future be preferred energy for many industries, based on competitive costs with current gas supplies and the need to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. In addition, electricity is a clean and easily controlled energy source. Electric baking ovens have the following features:

  • Radiant heat transfer which is penetrative and achieves optimum volume and texture of the products
  • Clean energy that does not contaminate the products or the baking environment
  • Dry heat which is efficient in reducing moisture content. Steam application and turbulence systems provide humidity as required by the baking process
  • Electric heaters are easily and accurately controlled
  • Minimum oven maintenance is required

Electric ovens in China

Electric ovens in China


New biscuit bakeries
Bimbo bakery

Bimbo bakery.  

Inbisco Thailand Solar Energy in Biscuit baking
Inbisco Thailand.

Modern biscuit bakeries have long flat roofed production areas. The images above are examples of modern bakery design. New bakeries now often have production areas of around 150m x 25m, 3750m2. This area could be used for solar panels.

Solar panels

Solar panels


A bakery roof of 3750m2 could support 1400 solar panels of 96cells and 360W capacity for each panel. The panel size is 1.95m x 0.99m 1400 panels would provide 504 kW.

The energy provided per year is given by:

Energy (kWh) = Area (m2) x panel yield/efficiency (%) x average solar radiation (depending on location) x performance ratio for losses (0.5 – 0.9)

In our example with 1400 solar panels, with yield of 16% and an average location (southern Europe):

Energy per year = 2702 x 0.16 x1500 x 0.75 = 486360 kWh

Average energy per day = 1332 kWh

TechTalks Discussion

Energy source
Please can you advise which type of energy source is good for the wafer baking oven? As I know most of the time Gas is the best solution but it's really expensive in here.


Global Solar Atlas.  2021

909 N. Pacific Coast Highway, 11th Floor, El Segundo, CA 90245, USA.  2021
Photovoltaic Software    2021
Photonic Universe  2021
World Bakers   2021
Leading image: Alberto Masnovo/

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