ECN publication
Power generation options and greenhouse gas emissions
Published by: Publication date:
ECN Policy Studies 1997
ECN report number: Document type:
ECN-RX--97-062 Conference Paper
Number of pages: Full text:
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Presented at: The European Voice Conference, Brussels , Belgium, 6 november 1997.

Attention is paid to the extent to which power generation options cancontribute to mitigation of global warming. Historically, power generation was mainly based on fossil fuels: coal, oil, and natural gas. In the last decades nuclear power captured a large part of the power generation market. Hydroelectric power has remained rather stable, whereas wind energy, biomass-fueled power, and other renewables are gaining importance. There is a growing awareness of the global warming issue, or the threat of large and irreversible climatic changes in the next century. Such climatic changes could be due to continuing anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), i.e. by fossil fuel burning and deforestation. First, some light will be shed on the question of compliance with the global warming issue. Then, the status of each power generation option and the GHG emission of each option are discussed. Next, a brief overview will be presented of developments in power generation. Finally, results of scenario calculations are shown by means of a model for Europe, with emphasis on the vulnerability of power generation options to carbon taxes.

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