Exploring the limits for CO2 emission abatement in the EU power and industry sectors—Awaiting a breakthrough
Journal article, 2013
This study assesses the prospects for presently available abatement technologies to achieve significant reductions in CO2 emissions from large stationary sources of CO2 in the EU up to year 2050. The study covers power generation, petroleum refining, iron and steel, and cement production. By simulating capital stock turnover, scenarios that assume future developments in the technology stock, energy intensities, fuel and production mixes, and the resulting CO2 emissions were generated for each sector. The results confirm that the EU goal for reductions in Greenhouse Gas Emission in the sectors covered by the EU Emission Trading System, i.e., 21% reduction by 2020 as compared to the levels in 2005, is attainable with the abatement measures that are already available. However, despite the optimism regarding the potential for, and implementation of, available abatement strategies within current production processes, our results indicate that the power and industrial sectors will fail to comply with more stringent reduction targets in both the medium term (2030) and long term (2050). Deliberate exclusion from the analysis of mitigation technologies that are still in the early phases of development (e.g., CO2 capture and storage) provides an indirect measure of the requirements for novel low-carbon technologies and production processes.