The European power plant infrastructure - Presentation of the Chalmers energy infrastructure database with applications
Journal article, 2007
This paper presents a newly established database of the European power plant infrastructure (power plants, fuel infrastructure, fuel resources and CO, storage options) for the EU25 member states (MS) and applies the database in a general discussion of the European power plant and natural gas infrastructure as well as in a simple simulation analysis of British and German power generation up to the year 2050 with respect to phase-out of existing generation capacity, fuel mix and fuel dependency. The results are discussed with respect to age structure of the current production plants, CO2 emissions, natural gas dependency and CO2 capture and storage (CCS) under stringent CO2 emission constraints. The analysis of the information from the power plant database, which includes planned projects, shows large variations in power plant infrastructure between the MS and a clear shift to natural gas-fuelled power plants during the last decade. The data indicates that this shift may continue in the short-term up to 2010 since the majority of planned plants are natural gas fired. The gas plants are, however, geographically concentrated to southern and northwest Europe. The data also shows large activities in the upstream gas sector to accommodate the ongoing shift to gas with pipelines, liquefaction plants and regasification terminals being built and gas fields being prepared for production. At the same time, utilities are integrating upwards in the fuel chain in order to secure supply while oil and gas companies are moving downwards the fuel chain to secure access to markets. However, it is not yet possible to state whether the ongoing shift to natural gas will continue in the medium term, i.e. after 2010, since this will depend on a number of factors as specified below. Recently there have also been announcements for construction of a number of new coal plants. The results of the simulations for the German and British power sector show that combination of a relatively low growth rate in power generation, ambitious national plans on renewables together with a strong expansion in the use of natural gas can meet national reduction targets in CO2 emissions. However, for both countries this will result in a strong dependency on natural gas. Successful application Of CO2 capture will reduce this dependency, since this would allow for a significant amount of coal-based generation, which will contribute to security of supply. (c) 2007 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
security of supply