2050 Emission Reduction Target. How Can It Be Achieved and What Role Do Wind Power and Nuclear Power Have?


Academic Paper, 2019
7 Pages, Grade: 3.7

Excerpt

Abstract:

UK Climate Change Act 2008 has set 80% GHG emissions reduction target by 2050, relative to 1990 national GHG emissions. In this essay, DACC 2050 calculator has been used to devise a whole system scenario to assess the actions needed and possible energy mix needed to achieve 80% target by 2050. It has been concluded that for energy security, cost-effectiveness and achievement of 20250 target, wind power and nuclear power will have to play the key role. In addition to that demand side management, through electrification of heat and transport, and energy efficiency will have to play significant role. However, technological advancement in CCS , improvement in nuclear power flexibility in operation and geo-sequestration will influence 2050 target achievement.

COMBINATION OF NUCLEAR AND WIND POWER TO MEETING THE UK’S 2050 DECARBONIZATION TARGET

AMJAD HAFEEZ

Table 1: Primary Source Import

Table 2: Electricity Main Sources

Table 3: Cost Projection by BEIS (2016)

Table 4: Pathway Alpha VS My Pathway

COMBINATION OF NUCLEAR AND WIND POWER TO MEETING THE UK’S 2050 DECARBONIZATION TARGET

UK has committed 80% reduction in its Green House Gases (GHG) emission by 2050 relative to emissions in 1990 as per the Climate Change Act 2008(UKParliament, 2008). This policy proposal, with proposed actions in energy supply side and demand side, has goal of achieving 2050 target ensuring energy security, affordability and stability of energy supply system. We use modelling through DECC 2050 Calculator to suggest measures in all sectors within parameters and constraints set by the tool. In this proposal, our initial goal is to decarbonize electricity sector and shifting heating and transport sectors’ energy demand to electrical energy through electrification of these sectors. Electrification of heating and transport and decarbonization of electricity through renewables, Nuclear and Carbon-Capture-and-Storage(CCS) is key to achieve 2050 targets (Pollitt, 2019)(Jamasb et al., 2011).

The proposed Pathway (2019),achieving 80% reduction target, has been portrayed

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Table 1: Primary Source Import

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Table 2: Electricity Main Sources

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Table 3: Cost Projection by BEIS (2016)

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Table 4: Pathway Alpha VS My Pathway

Figure 1: Primary Energy and Final Energy Demand

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Figure 2: Electricity Supply and Demand

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in Figure 1 and Figure 2.These two figures have trajectories of primary energy supply, final energy demand, electrical energy generated and electrical energy demand, with source and sector wise share. Fehler! Verweisquelle konnte nicht gefunden werden. depicts main sources of electricity in proposed scenario with onshore and off-shore wind (475TWh), Nuclear(280TWh),followed by CCS, Solar PV and other smaller renewables. We have proposed 10% land allocation for bioenergy related crops and 30TWH electricity from EU through interconnection. Fossil fuels, both local and imported, are also part of the energy mix for CCS and heavy transport.

Demand side management and demand reduction is very important in decarbonization of energy sector (Jamasb et al., 2011a).One third of GHG reductions since 1990 are due to change in electricity mix,while two third are due to demand shift and energy efficiency(Hausfather, 2019).So,demand side carries considerable potential of GHG reductions.

In this scenario, we have assumed that around 2/3rd of personal vehicles will be electrical, and these will travel 7% more than now. Battery and fuel cell will also be used for personal vehicles. All trains will be electrified. Lighting will be 60% more efficient and industry will be growing at same trend as it is now. The detailed demand side management is at Pathway (2019).

We have assumed that all domestic and commercial heating has been electrified and becomes more efficient. Now average electricity consumption is between 4000 to 5000KWh per year with flat rate of 12-15 cents per KWh(ofgem, 2017).While gas heating for an average three-bedroom house is 12000 to 14000KWh per year at 5 cents per KWh. Conversion of heating to electricity means two to three times more cost per unit of energy and hence affordability issue.

In this policy proposal, affordability of energy is one of the pillars of policy goal. The scenario proposed, has cost per capita per year 5600£ while for ‘Doesn’t Tackle Climate Change’ scenario is around 4500£ and ‘Low Cost Scenario’ has 4200£. Prima facie, it makes this scenario unaffordable, however, this is far less than the estimated 6500£ per capita per year by Stern(2009) as loss for inaction against climate change.Table presents projected costs of four sources in 2025 and 2030, estimated by BEIS(2017).There is visible downward cost trend for wind , solar , nulcear and CCS generated energy. We can foresee similar trends for 2040s and 2050 and reusltant lower average basket price of energy.Therefore, the extra cost incurred on this policy proposal will be offset through low cost and environment friendly energy in future.

Energy security is “the uninterrupted availability of energy sources at an affordable price” (IEA, 2018).Uranium for nuclear power plant is 100% imported by UK while inclusion of CCS supported imported fossil fuels’ power plants aggravate energy security scenario.In this pathway, primary energy import is around 64% (Table ), which means UK energy supply is prone to risks of disruption of sources, due to fluctuations in market prices and regional turmoil. Hence, we have selected a scenario with around 500TWh of electrical energy from wind power into the energy system, followed by Nuclear Power and CCS based power to handle constant load and varying load respectively. Renewables serve three advantages: 1. indigenous, hence source security, 2. decarbonized, which will help in achieving 2050 targets, and 3.low cost future projection. However, renewable power, specifically wind and solar, are intermittent and need storage, here we have assumed 20GW storage, which is not enough, so UK will have to rely on imported Uranium and fossil fuels alongside renewables.

We have compared proposed scenario with Pathway Alpha (UKGov, 2010). Comparison of some points is in Fehler! Verweisquelle konnte nicht gefunden werden..Pathway Alpha has similar approach to achieving 2050 targets as have been proposed here. However, we have proposed 39GW compared to 33GW of Nuclear Power.Like Alpha Pathway we have proposed interventions on demand side such as heating and transport and allocated 10% land for bioenergy crops.Alpha Pathway has kept renewables at the heart of scenario to achieve targets and in proposed scenario wind power is leading the renewables with close to 500TWH(Fehler! Verweisquelle konnte nicht gefunden werden.) of annual energy supply.One of the key differences id that in proposed scenario geo-sequestration at the rate of 30MTCO2 per annum but alpha pathway doesn’t incorporate this aspect.

Considering foregoing, we can’t employ CCS at each vehicle, gas heating at commercial entities and industry, therefore, electrification of transport and heating is necessary. This electricity should come from decarbonized grid, hence renewables, particularly, wind power should have highest portion in electricity mix. CCS is at trial stage and has higher cost per MW, therefore, it can not be trusted for supply to the constant load. So, fossil fuel supply will be a tricky business. This leaves us with Nuclear Power Plants(39GW) to act as base load power plants for constant load. It means, Nuclear Power, combined with wind power is the key to achieve 2050 target, due to low cost projections, wind being indigenous source and low emissions related to these two sources. However, fossil fuels(with or without CCS) and bioenergy will have to be relied upon to act as spinning reserves as back up for intermittence of wind power. Saying this, future development in CCS, geo-sequestration and storage technologies will also have huge impact on 2050 targets and outcomes of this policy proposal.

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Excerpt out of 7 pages

Details

Title
2050 Emission Reduction Target. How Can It Be Achieved and What Role Do Wind Power and Nuclear Power Have?
College
University of Cambridge
Grade
3.7
Author
Year
2019
Pages
7
Catalog Number
V462662
ISBN (eBook)
9783668950283
Language
English
Tags
emission, reduction, target, achieved, what, role, wind, power, nuclear, have
Quote paper
Amjad Hafeez (Author), 2019, 2050 Emission Reduction Target. How Can It Be Achieved and What Role Do Wind Power and Nuclear Power Have?, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/462662

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