Mountain Partnership: This report provides a review of the various options being pursued to reduce carbon intensities in five developing countries, namely Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa. These are major emerging economies, all of which are vulnerable to adverse effects from climate change, with their governments having to balance economic, environmental and social priorities. All have large carbon footprints; however, in each case, they have made commitments to reduce carbon intensities over the period to 2030.
The approach to be adopted varies from country to country, depending on both technical and economic drivers. Following a description of the respective programmes, suggestions are made on the need to accelerate the development and deployment of CCS technologies, especially in those developing countries that have established policies to counter climate change and have recognized the potential importance of CCS as a carbon mitigation technique. It is also suggested that it is important to support the nearer-term but equally critical initiatives to establish higher efficiency and cleaner coal units for power and non-power applications.
Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa are major emerging economies, all of which are vulnerable to adverse effects from climate change, with their governments having to balance economic, environmental and social priorities. All have large carbon footprints; however, in each case, they have made commitments to reduce carbon intensities over the period to 2030 and, in some cases, beyond. The approach to be adopted variesfrom country to country, depending on both technical and economic drivers.
China, India, Indonesia and South Africa have fossil fuel based economies, in which in three cases coal is the dominant energy source while for the other (Indonesia) coal is an important and growing component of the energy mix. In all four countries, the use of their large indigenous coal supplies is a means to underpin economic growth with competitive power generation, which directly and indirectly provides jobs for many of the population while also ensuring energy security.
While the introduction of renewable energy and nuclear power is being addressed to varying degrees, establishing higher efficiency coal-fired power plants is seen as an important and near term step in reducing carbon intensities.
In each case, there is a complementary need to curb the excessive transmission losses from the national grids that are neither designed to handle the rapid increase in coal-fired power generation, especially where the load varies significantly between provincial systems, nor can readily accommodate the variability arising from growing levels of intermittent renewable power. While these countries all recognise that CCS offers an important means to limit CO2 emissions from large energy-intensive sources, they are all concerned that the large energy penalty will require a massive upturn in their levels of coal use, and that this in conjunction with the large increase in capital costs will make their power production uneconomic with adverseimpacts on their economies within the global context.
At the same time, China, Indonesia and South Africa have shown interest in CCS as a future mitigation option, with government policies identifying it as a key development priority. China, in particular, has taken forward a major research and development programme leading to some industrial pilot-scale demonstrations of coal-based CO2 capture options, with plans to establish larger options linked primarily to EOR. Indonesia recognises the need to limit CO2 emissions from its increased extraction of natural gas with high CO2 impurity levels and seeks to undertake a natural gas based CO2 EOR project, while South Africa has a comprehensive coal-based CCS assessment programme in place with a major and critical objective to establish a large-scale CO2test injection project. In contrast, in India, there is at present little interest in the technology.
In the case of Brazil, the very different energy mix compared to the other four countries means that there is little interest in CCS for the power sector since it is dominated by renewable energy use. However, while there is a lack of policies to support CCS, the government’s limitations on CO2 release from oil and gas extraction from the newly-discovered deposits has provided a powerful driver for CCS-related R&D, including a growing industrially-focused EOR programme.
Read More: http://www.iea-coal.org/site/2010/publications-section/reports
Author- Andrew Minchener
Publisher- IEA Clean Coal Centre
Publication- year 2012
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