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What is the best strategy to reduce our dependence on Carbon intensive energy? How do carbon emissions vary from different fuel types in reality? How sensitive are these different types to carbon accounting? Comparison study of Nuclear, Coal and Wind Energy with respect to Carbon Accounting Samuel Chapman [email_address]
Carbon Accounting of Electricity Production . Material based analysis  (gCO 2 /kg) Life cycle analysis of products  - Amount of materials must be known for a given project in tonnes/kilograms Requires inventories of  all  materials used in construction Mass of material x GHG embodiment per unit mass Widely used: “Inventory of Carbon & Energy” - Bath University.  Still no standard inventory. Only valid for defined system boundary -  process specific Cost based analysis  (gCO 2 /£) Life cycle analysis of processes  - Inventory establishment for lifetime monetary cost of plant. Emission factor found using GHG intensities - amount of GHG emitted from production of one unit worth  Input-Output analysis Assessment of how carbon intensive an economy is Not case specific due to input-output tables & averaged intensities Study suggests gives fuller account of emissions during construction 1 Combination of the two 1
Sensitivity of Electricity Production methods to carbon accounting Using published Life Cycle Assessments to deduce sensitivities of different production methods to quantifiable assessment. Sensitivity = Contribution Score x Data Rating Where  Contribution score : The smaller the value, the lesser the contribution to total life cycle emissions Data Rating :  1 - available, published data 2 - generic data, assumptions and availability of choice present 3 - missing data, omitted data
Source: Environment product Declaration of electricity from Torness Nuclear Power Plant by AEA Technology Torness Life Cycle CO 2  Emissions The same technique was used for coal and wind energy: Based on typical UK coal plant data Based on Lewis Wind Farm project data & Danish data
Sensitivity  vs.  Total Life Cycle Emissions Nuclear Power  is currently the most vulnerable to carbon accounting Sources:  AEA Technology  -  Environment product Declaration of electricity from Torness Nuclear Power Plant Naser Odeh & Timothy Cockerill  - LCA of typical coal power plant & LCA of coal plant with CCS Lewis Wind Farm Proposal Elsam Engineering  - LCA of onshore sited wind farms
What does it all mean? Need to open debate of  accountability  of electricity production methods. We need to have clear  boundary definitions  set that concern the  entire life cycle  of projects - pressure on all energy related industries to account in a standard manner Reduce the number of  assumptions  made in assessments Reduce  involvement  in projects with high degrees of uncertainty Need a structure in place to meet legislation House of Commons suggests current average of  541gCO 2 /kWh  emissions factor to our electricity. This is the key figure to bring down, since it relates to every electricity-using object in Britain. Refers to our energy mix  Need to reach a point where we can assess all aspects of electricity production and, like the car’s MOT certificate, be able to say about a project:  fix or scrap ,  based on quantifiable assessment.  I would like to invite you to open discussion on this topic.

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Sam Chapman | Electricity Sensitivity

  • 1. What is the best strategy to reduce our dependence on Carbon intensive energy? How do carbon emissions vary from different fuel types in reality? How sensitive are these different types to carbon accounting? Comparison study of Nuclear, Coal and Wind Energy with respect to Carbon Accounting Samuel Chapman [email_address]
  • 2. Carbon Accounting of Electricity Production . Material based analysis (gCO 2 /kg) Life cycle analysis of products - Amount of materials must be known for a given project in tonnes/kilograms Requires inventories of all materials used in construction Mass of material x GHG embodiment per unit mass Widely used: “Inventory of Carbon & Energy” - Bath University. Still no standard inventory. Only valid for defined system boundary - process specific Cost based analysis (gCO 2 /£) Life cycle analysis of processes - Inventory establishment for lifetime monetary cost of plant. Emission factor found using GHG intensities - amount of GHG emitted from production of one unit worth Input-Output analysis Assessment of how carbon intensive an economy is Not case specific due to input-output tables & averaged intensities Study suggests gives fuller account of emissions during construction 1 Combination of the two 1
  • 3. Sensitivity of Electricity Production methods to carbon accounting Using published Life Cycle Assessments to deduce sensitivities of different production methods to quantifiable assessment. Sensitivity = Contribution Score x Data Rating Where Contribution score : The smaller the value, the lesser the contribution to total life cycle emissions Data Rating : 1 - available, published data 2 - generic data, assumptions and availability of choice present 3 - missing data, omitted data
  • 4. Source: Environment product Declaration of electricity from Torness Nuclear Power Plant by AEA Technology Torness Life Cycle CO 2 Emissions The same technique was used for coal and wind energy: Based on typical UK coal plant data Based on Lewis Wind Farm project data & Danish data
  • 5. Sensitivity vs. Total Life Cycle Emissions Nuclear Power is currently the most vulnerable to carbon accounting Sources: AEA Technology - Environment product Declaration of electricity from Torness Nuclear Power Plant Naser Odeh & Timothy Cockerill - LCA of typical coal power plant & LCA of coal plant with CCS Lewis Wind Farm Proposal Elsam Engineering - LCA of onshore sited wind farms
  • 6. What does it all mean? Need to open debate of accountability of electricity production methods. We need to have clear boundary definitions set that concern the entire life cycle of projects - pressure on all energy related industries to account in a standard manner Reduce the number of assumptions made in assessments Reduce involvement in projects with high degrees of uncertainty Need a structure in place to meet legislation House of Commons suggests current average of 541gCO 2 /kWh emissions factor to our electricity. This is the key figure to bring down, since it relates to every electricity-using object in Britain. Refers to our energy mix Need to reach a point where we can assess all aspects of electricity production and, like the car’s MOT certificate, be able to say about a project: fix or scrap , based on quantifiable assessment. I would like to invite you to open discussion on this topic.

Editor's Notes

  1. Adv of cost based analysis - last bullet point. Combination of the two can be used - process analysis could be used for material production while other processes using input-output tables.
  2. Explain quickly the Total Life Emissions graph…scale reduced to show better other elec methods in relation to traditional coal. Wind - Figures taken from Lewis Wind project - larger due to peat disturbance potential of the project - suggested high figure for wind. Danish project suggests a low figure for wind Nuclear figure from torness study by AEA Technology.