Scholarly article on topic 'Analysis of GHG Abatement Opportunities under America’s Climate Security Act of 2007'

Analysis of GHG Abatement Opportunities under America’s Climate Security Act of 2007 Academic research paper on "Earth and related environmental sciences"

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Abstract of research paper on Earth and related environmental sciences, author of scientific article — Chris Nichols, Lisa Phares, Phil Dipietro, Tyler vanLeeuwen

Abstract Over the past few years, several pieces of legislation have been introduced in Congress aimed at reducing US greenhouse (GHG) emissions by setting emission targets by specified years. One of the latest bills, America’s Climate Security Act of 2007 (S.2191) was introduced in October 2007 and sets a US GHG emissions target for 2050 that is 85% below the governments business-as-usual forecast. DOE/NETL has employed a multi-sector emissions accounting tool, CarBen, that identifies emission abatement options and their contribution, via a wedge analysis, to the total GHG emissions reduction needed to meet the 2050 emissions target laid out in S.2191. This paper begins with a review of expected greenhouse (GHG) emissions in the United States through 2050. Historical and projected trends in U.S. energy use per GDP and GHG emission per unit of energy delivered are assessed. The paper then explores “technical possibilities” that exist for the U.S. to mitigate its GHG emissions in line with S.2191. Within the power sector, these options include nuclear power, renewable power generation, refurbishing existing coal power plants, retrofitting existing coal power plants with carbon capture and storage (CCS) and deploying new coal and natural gas power plants with CCS Outside of the power sector abatement options cover non-CO2 GHG emissions abatement, terrestrial offsets, international credits, improved vehicle efficiency and electrification of the transportation sector through hybrid electric vehicles. The methodology for calculating the wedges and allocating emissions reduction among the different options is described.

Academic research paper on topic "Analysis of GHG Abatement Opportunities under America’s Climate Security Act of 2007"

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Energy Procedía

ELSEVIER

Energy Procedía 1 (2009) 4249-4256

www.elsevier.com/locate/procedia

GHGT-9

Analysis of GHG Abatement Opportunities under America's Climate Security Act of 2007

Chris Nicholsa, Lisa Pharesa, Phil Dipietroa, Tyler vanLeeuwenb

aU.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory, Office of Systems, Analyses and Planning 3610 Collins Ferry Road, P.O. Box 880, Morgantown, WV26507 bAdvancedResources International, Inc., 4501 Fairfax Drive, Suite 910, Arlington, VA 22203

Abstract

Over the past few years, several pieces of legislation have been introduced in Congress aimed at reducing US greenhouse (GHG) emissions by setting emission targets by specified years. One of the latest bills, America's Climate Security Act of 2007 (S.2191) was introduced in October 2007 and sets a US GHG emissions target for 2050 that is 85% below the governments business-as-usual forecast. DOE/NETL has employed a multi-sector emissions accounting tool, CarBen, that identifies emission abatement options and their contribution, via a wedge analysis, to the total GHG emissions reduction needed to meet the 2050 emissions target laid out in S.2191.

This paper begins with a review of expected greenhouse (GHG) emissions in the United States through 2050. Historical and projected trends in U.S. energy use per GDP and GHG emission per unit of energy delivered are assessed. The paper then explores "technical possibilities" that exist for the U.S. to mitigate its GHG emissions in line with S.2191. Within the power sector, these options include nuclear power, renewable power generation, refurbishing existing coal power plants, retrofitting existing coal power plants with carbon capture and storage (CCS) and deploying new coal and natural gas power plants with CCS Outside of the power sector abatement options cover non-CO2 GHG emissions abatement, terrestrial offsets, international credits, improved vehicle efficiency and electrification of the transportation sector through hybrid electric vehicles. The methodology for calculating the wedges and allocating emissions reduction among the different options is described.

© 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

The purpose of this report is to identify "technical possibilities" that exist for the U.S. to mitigate its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with Senate Bill S.2191. These possibilities include alternatives that have been overlooked or heavily discounted in past GHG legislative analyses. These technologies, once proven commercially viable, would offer tremendous GHG mitigation benefits while also serving the energy security and economic

doi:10.1016/j.egypro.2009.02.236

interests of the U.S. However, because they are not currently acknowledged as prospective contributing technologies to an overall GHG mitigation scenario, they face the risk that future research and development will wane and their long-term potential for contributing to the nation's energy needs will not be realized.

Due into the inherently ill-defined nature of technologies and processes with commercialization several years or even decades away, it is difficult to provide a meaningful comparative economic analysis of all GHG mitigation alternatives. Nonetheless, leaving such technical possibilities out of our nation's 40-year vision of energy alternatives would represent a costly oversight from the standpoint of optimal GHG mitigation as well as the maintenance of U.S. energy and economic security. This report represents a diverse array of U.S. energy alternatives, fossil and non-fossil, for CO2 mitigation, recognizing that some may falter but others may perform beyond expectations. A resulting sample scenario is provided for the cumulative contribution of such alternatives, which could fully support the objectives of S.2191 for U.S. GHG reductions by 2050.

2. Discussion of GHG Mitigation Alternatives

Early analyses of a variety of legislative concepts relating to GHG reduction have tended to use assumptions based on preliminary and uncertain representations of the performance, capital costs, mitigation potential, and timing of various GHG alternatives. Some scenarios within these analyses asserted the substantial displacement of fossil fuels in power generation by renewable alternatives and/or large incremental quantities of nuclear generation, with negligible effects on both electricity price and GDP growth. This methodology may lead to substantial reductions in GHG emissions, but the resulting transformation of the U.S. electricity industry would be enormous.

It is simply not credible, considering cost escalation in the industry, skilled human resource constraints, and socio-political obstacles to current power generation development activity that such a transformation could occur with little impact on electricity price and on the nation's economy. Furthermore, within a year's time, there have been high-profile reports fundamentally calling into question the GHG benefits of grain-based ethanol alternatives [1] and the low over-night capital cost assumptions for the next generation of nuclear plants [2].

Most analyses of GHG mitigation technologies have assumed away or otherwise avoided a detailed look at the present capabilities to modify or retrofit existing power generation assets with carbon capture and storage (CCS) and accordingly have not considered any assessment of the potential to improve over time the performance and economics of those mitigation techniques with adequate R&D. Likewise important new power generation and energy production technologies are evaluated for their potential contribution at present levels of anticipated performance with little acknowledgement of the performance and timing improvements that could be derived from increased R&D funding and personnel.

Although carbon penalties are assessed in such climate change energy analyses, no positive recognition emerges for the "energy security value" or "economic competitiveness value" of technologies that can rely on domestic energy resources or advance U.S. commercial interests. Liquid fuel energy alternatives such as coal-to-liquids (CTL) with CCS have been dismissed, at quite an early stage, as unacceptable for alternative fuels because preliminary lifecycle analyses showed a 3.7% CO2 emission disadvantage compared to a traditional U.S. refinery. Revised analyses by the EPA are expected to show that CTL w/CCS is actually better performing than a traditional petroleum refinery. Despite the enormous benefit that CTL w/CCS could bring to the nation's energy security and economic competitiveness, this technology received little consideration in recent energy policy decisions for alternative fuels.

Other technologies with the potential to simultaneously address all three U.S. energy strategy directions are sufficiently so new in concept that they have not had an adequate chance to be tabled for consideration. One such technology is referred to as Coal-Biomass to Liquids with CCS (CBTL w/CCS). By offering the unique possibility to permanently capture and store CO2 from biomass combustion, it represents an opportunity to introduce negative CO2 crediting. This process may provide both the most effective carbon-reducing application for the nation's biomass resources and an important alternative for the nation's abundant coal reserves to serve the liquid fuel demand in the U.S. in an environmentally advantageous manner.

2.1. Wedge Analysis of Options for Mitigation of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions

A plan for how to achieve the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets set forth in S.2191 while also maintaining economic prosperity and energy security is presented below.

Figure 1 shows a business-as-usual projection in which U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions increase from 7.2 billion metric tons per year in 2006 to 11 billion metric tons in 2050. Also shown is an emissions trajectory consistent with the proposed Lieberman - Warner cap and trade legislation (S.2191). The S.2191 target for 2050 is 84% below the business-as-usual forecast.

Emission Reduction by Mitigation Action:

Retirements Allocated across Displacement Generation

Other, -1%

Advanced

technologies, 30%

Efficiency &

conservation,

Non-CO2 GHGs,

Retrofit of existing PC plants w/ CC ■ New advanced coal power w/ CCS Coal and coal/biomass liquids w/CC Advanced natural gas power, w/

Non-hydro renewables

Industrial CO2 capture

Com/res/ind efficiency improvement

International credits

Conventional & advanced foss generation (no CCS)

10,000

Nuclear and renewable, 8%

Transportation efficiency & Low carbon fuels use

Power generation effcien mprovements

Advanced T&D, Smart Grid & Reduced Demand

Agricultural, Forestry, and other

Target S.2191

Figure 1. Wedge Chart for Compliance with Lieberman - Warner (S.2191)

Figure 1 represents 16 categories of GHG mitigation actions (wedges) that, together, achieve the emissions trajectory called for in S.2191. Advanced fossil fuel technologies account for 30% of the total emissions reduction. With agricultural/terrestrial offsets and international offset credits excluded, fossil fuel technologies account for 42% of the reduction.

The business-as-usual (BAU) scenario matches the AEO 2008 reference case through 2030 and is extended to 2050 using the following relation: (in million metric tons = MMmt)

GHG emissions = population * GDP per capita * energy use per GDP * GHG emissions per energy Table 1 presents the parameters for 1990 through 2050. Two key points:

• By 2030, energy use per unit of GDP is 36% lower than it is today. In extending the trend through 2050 we cut back on the rate of decline so as to not extrapolate energy use per GDP linearly toward zero.

• GHG emissions per unit of energy decline through 2020, then reverse and trend back upwards in 2030. Increasing scarcity of easy-to-produce, light hydrocarbon fuels are driving energy users to heavier, more greenhouse gas intensive resources. We extend this trend of increasing GHG emissions per delivered unit of energy through 2050.

In going from the business-as-usual scenario to S.2191, we assume no changes in either population or GDP per capita. The options we consider affect either the amount of energy required per unit of economic activity or the amount of net GHG emissions associated with delivered energy.

C. Nichols et al. /Energy Procedia 1 (2009) 4249-4256 Table 1. U.S. GHG Emissions through 2050 under the Business-as-Usual Scenario

Year Population, millions GDP per capita (k$/person) Delivered energy per GDP, btu/$ GHG emissions per energy, kg CO2e/thousand btu GHG emissions, MMmtCO2e per year

1990 249 29 8.5 101 6.1

2010 311 40 6.0 96 7.2

2030 366 55 4.2 101 8.5

2050 420 72 3.4 107 11.0

* 2010 and 2030 numbers are consistent with the AEO 2008 reference forecast, the version revised to include the impacts of H.R. 6, "Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007." Non-CO2 GHG numbers are added to GHG emissions per energy. 2050 numbers are estimated by extending trends.

2.2. Emissions Reduction Wedges in the Electricity Supply Sector

Under the business-as-usual scenario, we estimate a total demand for electricity in 2050 to be 7,000 TWh. We make two changes to demand for the S.2191 scenario:

• We reduce the amount of total generation needed by 5% to account for advanced transmission and distribution technologies that reduce resistive losses and load following requirements (e.g., SmartGrid).

• We increase the amount of total generation by 578 TWh to represent an aggressive 50% electrification of the light duty vehicle market by 2050 (300 hundred million plug in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) on the road) [3]. There is a synergy between the development of the hybrid electric platform for vehicles and the deployment of advanced baseload power plants that can provide the lowest cost off-peak electricity for PHEVs and reduce their full life cycle emissions footprint.

The total electricity demand in 2050 under S.2191 is:

7,000 TWh BAU load - 350 TWh from end-use efficiency and reduced T&D losses + 578 TWh Transportation = 7,228 TWh

Table 2 shows the generation portfolio in 2050 under the S.2191 scenario. We made the following estimates and assumptions in constructing the portfolio:

• The market value for GHG emissions from power plants is between 50 and 100 $/MMmtCO2e (constant year 2007 dollars).

• All oil and gas-fired steam are retired by 2050 due to age, increased fuel costs, and increased cost associated with GHG emissions.

• No growth in hydroelectric, which is limited by the availability of river systems.

• Combustion turbines, fueled by natural gas or diesel, are needed as peakers. They supply 8% of the total load, which is down from 12% in the BAU due to advanced R&D.

• Non-hydro renewables provide 950 TWh in 2050, over three times more than the generation in 2030 under the BAU. We estimate that growth beyond this level is constrained by increasing costs as the high quality resources are used up.

• Growth in conventional natural gas combined cycle is constrained through 2030 by high natural gas prices and limited natural gas supply.

• Existing PC power plants operating at an efficiency of 33% or more are retrofitted with CO2 capture and storage (CCS) technology. 160 GW are retrofitted. They provide 625 TWh at an average GHG intensity of 0.13 kgCO2e/kWh.

• The remaining load (60% of the total) is split between nuclear (40%), advanced coal power with CCS (40%), and advanced natural gas with CCS (20%). We assume that all or most of the exiting 100 GW of nuclear power will need to be replaced or significantly re-powered by 2050. We estimate that advanced coal with CCS will gain a larger share of new deployments because it has lower capital cost and similar full life cycle GHG emissions. Natural gas fired power with CCS comes in post-2030. It is enabled by natural gas supply from hydrates and also high-efficiency conversion (~75%) made possible by solid oxide fuel cells.

CO2 EOR can provide revenues for captured CO2, improving the economics of coal power with CCS and also "paying for" CO2 pipeline infrastructure that can be utilized for subsequent CO2 storage in underlying or nearby saline formations. A power plant selling its captured CO2 to an oil operator could receive anywhere from 10-30 $/MtCO2, equivalent to a reduction of 1-3 cents/kWh in a plant's LCOE. Domestic oil-bearing formations have enough capacity to store captured CO2 from 80 GW of coal power, operating for 30 years [4]. More storage capacity is possible with advanced EOR methods.

Table 2. Generation Assets in 2050 Consistent with S.2191

Power plant type 2006 Capacity (GW) 2050 Capacity (GW) 2050 Capacity factor 2050 Generation (BkWh) CO2 intensity, kgCO2/kWh 2050 CO2 emissions, MMmtCO2/yr

Oil and gas steam 121 0 N/A N/A N/A N/A

Hydroelectric 77 80 43% 300 0 0

Non-hydro renewables 19 186 59% 956 0 0

Combustion turbines 130 199 12% 210 0.67 1 137

NGCC 177 196 50% 860 0.35 2 300

Nuclear 100 209 90% 1,655 0 0

Pre-2010 PC power plants retrofitted w/ CCS 310 160 65% 640 0.13 3 86

Adv. coal power w/ CCS 233 87% 1,773 0.05 4 99

Adv. NGCC w/CCS 0 119 80% 834 0.12 5 98

Total 934 1,384 N/A 7,229 N/A 720

1 12,600 Btu/kWh * 52.8 MMmtCO2/QBtu 2 6,600 Btu/kWh * 52.8 MMmtCO2/QBtu 3 13,600 Btu/kWh * 94 MMmtCO2/QBtu * (1 - 90%) 4 Deployments progressing from state-of-the-art (32% efficient, 90% CO2 capture) to 45% efficient and 100% CO2 percent capture. Average value, (9000 Btu/kWh *94 MMmtCO2/QBtu * (1-94%) = 0.04 kgCO2/kWh 5 Half have zero emissions, half have no capture, 4,450 Btu/kWh * 52.8 MMmtCO2/QBtu

2.3. Emissions reduction in the transportation sector

The two big drivers for reduced GHG emissions in the transportation sector are improved vehicle efficiency and the use of coal/biomass to liquids. The following are our assumptions for the S.2191 case in 2050:

• Improved efficiency of cars from 35 mpg in the BAU to 50 mpg1

• Improved efficiency of light trucks from 25 mpg in the BAU to 35 mpg2

• Reduced average light duty travel from 12,000 vehicle miles per year to 10,0003

• Similar efficiency and conservation gains in trains, ships and other models of transport

• Coal/biomass liquids supply 3.5 million barrels per day of fuel4

The BAU scenario derives from the AEO 2008 and includes significant deployments of corn and cellulosic ethanol, consistent with Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. We estimate no further deployments in the S.2191 scenario.

2.4. Commercial, residential, and industrial efficiency improvements

The opportunities for GHG emissions reduction in the commercial, residential, and industrial sectors are many and varied. In the BAU scenario, the 2050 GHG emissions from these sectors is 2.3 billion metric tons CO2e per year. We assume a 27% reduction under the S.2191 scenario. This wedge category also includes the 334 MMmtCO2e due to advanced R&D and end use efficiency gains.

2.5. Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases

We use cost supply curves developed by EIA to estimate the amount of emissions reduction that can be achieved through abatement of non-CO2 GHG emissions [5]. In the BAU scenario we assume that non-CO2 GHG emissions grow post 2030 by the same proportion as emissions of CO2 from energy. Here we assume that the opportunity for abatement grows by the same proportion. Going from 2030 to 2050 we assume the abatement opportunities at a given cost increase 20% due to advances in technology. Using the 2030 abatement estimate at a $60 credit price the 2050 estimate is:

276 MMmtCO2e/yr * (11/8.5) * (1 + 20%) = 430 MMmtCO2e

2.6. Agricultural, Forestry, and Other Terrestrial Offsets

Terrestrial offsets are actions that increase the rate of carbon uptake into trees, grasses, and other terrestrial ecosystems. To the extent the carbon remains stored, these actions "off-set" emissions from other human activities. As a part of its evaluation of S.280 EIA developed price supply curves for domestic terrestrial sequestration. We apply those supply curves here and obtain an estimate of GHG mitigation from terrestrial sequestration of 1,350 MMmtCO2e/yr in 20 505. This amount of reduction coincides with the 15% maximum compliance amount specified in S.2191. We estimate that agricultural, forestry, and other terrestrial offsets account for 15% of the total reduction below the BAU in each year.

MMmtCO2e/mt

2 Wedge calc. 10,000 miles/vehicle * 130 MM trucks * (5,000 - 3,500) Btu/mile] * 106 MMmtCO2/QBtu diesel fuel = 207 MMmtCO2

3 Wedge calc. (12,000 - 10,000) miles/vehicle * [170 MM cars * 3,600 Btu/mile + 130 MM trucks * 5,000 Btu/mile] * 106 MMmtCO2/QBtu diesel fuel = 268 MMmtCO2

4 CBTL wedge: 7.5 QBtu * 106 MMmtCO2/QBtu diesel * 38% = 285 MMmtCO2/yr. Straight CTL provides a 10% reduction in GHGs compared to petroleum diesel based on 90% CCS and shift to lower quality crude oils, Coal/biomass to liquid provides 50% reduction based on 25% cellulosic biomass and 90% CCS. Total deployments assumed to be 30% CTL, 70% CBTL. 0.3 * 0.1 + 0.7*0.5 = 38%; 7.5 Qbtu = 3.5 MMbpd * 365 * 42 g/bbl * 0.14 MMBtu/g

5 One note of caution is that the BAU scenario is an extrapolation of the AEO 2008 and therefore contains significant market penetration for corn and cellulosic ethanol (1.5 MM barrels per day in 2030) and biomass-fired power (90 TWh in 2030). This analysis predicts the use of biomass for coal/biomass to liquids. The curves developed for the analysis of S.280 may not have considered those other uses for biomass.

1 Wedge calc. 10,000 miles/vehicle * 170 MM cars * (3,600 - 2,500) Btu/mile * 106 MMmtCO2/QBtu diesel fuel = 198

2.7. International credits

The current version of S.2191 allows for emissions credits earned from reductions in developing nations to account for up to 15% of the total reduction in any given year. We assume that such credits are pursued at the maximum value each year.

3. Observations from the wedge analysis

"When" matters. Emissions mitigation technologies need to be fully commercially deployable in the 2020 -2030 timeframe to play in the S.2191 scenario.

Retrofits will happen. The economics of retrofitting existing coal-fired power plants with CO2 capture and storage are compelling with emissions credit values up to $80/MMmtCO2. Retrofits can play a significant role early on in the analysis period. There is a large potential for the use of retrofit technology subsequently in developing nations.

Upstream Counts. In a scenario where significant amounts of fossil fuels are being consumed and 90% or 100% of GHG emissions from fuel conversion processes captured, GHG emissions associated with drilling, mining, and other resource production activities become a more significant part of overall emissions. This is especially true given market trends to heavier resources. A focus on advanced fuel production technologies is an important part of a complete R&D effort to support and enable S.2191.

Synergy with security. Increased transportation efficiency, electrification of light duty vehicles, domestic oil production from EOR, and domestic liquid fuels production from coal/biomass to liquids and ethanol, all reduce GHG emissions and all combine to dramatically reduce crude oil imports, Table 3. Increased domestic natural gas production, especially with development of the potential of methane hydrates resources, has the potential to displace significant amounts of imported LNG by 2050.

Table 3. GHG Mitigation Actions Provide Energy Security Benefits

Fuel Source Displaced petroleum fuel in 2050 under S.2191, MM barrels per day

PHEVs 2.75

Biomass/coal to liquids 3.5

CO2 enhanced oil recovery 2.0

Ethanol 2.0

Total 10.25

Point of reference: forecast crude oil imports in 2030, AEO 2008 16.6

4. References

[1] Searchinger, et.al., Use of U.S. Croplands for Biofuels Increases Greenhouse Gases Through Emissions from Land Use Change, ScienceExpress, www.sciencexpress.org ,7 February 2008

[2] EIA, Assumptions to the Annual Energy Outlook 2007; compared to Florida Public Service Commission transcripts and exhibits pertaining to the review of FPL's application to install Turkey Point Nuclear Plant units 6 &

7, February 2008

[3] High PHEV market penetration case from EPRI study, "Environmental Assessment of Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles Volume 1: Nationwide Greenhouse Gas Emissions," EPRI report number 1015325, July 2007 (NRDC

coauthor) [170 million PHEV cars * 12,000 miles per car per year * 62% utility factor * 0.255 kWH/mile] + [130 million PHEV trucks * 12,000 miles per year per truck * 49% utility factor * 0.327kWh/mile = 570 TWh. The utility factor is the percent of the total miles traveled that are in electric mode.

[4] "Storing CO2 with Enhanced Oil Recovery," DOE/NETL report # 402/1312/02-07-08, February 2008. Analysis was conducted in collaboration with Advanced Resources International

[5] "Energy Market and Economic Impacts of S.280, the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act of 2007," DOE EIA, 2007 SR/OIA/F/2007-04

[6] EIA analysis of S.280, 2007. Original data from the EPA report Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Potential in US Forestry and Agriculture, 2005. EIA shifted some of EPA's estimates to account for technology readiness.