Prospects for Renewable and Fossil-Based Electricity Generation in a Carbon-Constrained World

DOI: 10.4236/ijcce.2013.22B008   PDF   HTML     2,856 Downloads   5,174 Views   Citations


In this paper, a regionally disaggregated global energy system model with a detailed treatment of the electricity supply sector is used to derive the cost-optimal choice of electricity generation technologies for each of 70 world regions over the period 2010-2050 under a constraint of halving global energy-related CO2 emissions in 2050 compared to the 2000 level. It is first shown that the long-term global electricity generation mix under the CO2 constraint becomes highly diversified, which includes coal, natural gas, nuclear, biomass, hydro, geothermal, onshore and offshore wind, solar photovoltaics (PV), and concentrated solar power (CSP). In this carbon-constrained world, 89.9% of the electricity generation from coal, natural gas, and biomass is combined with CO2 capture and storage (CCS) in 2050. It is then shown that the long-term electricity generation mix under the CO2 constraint varies significantly by world region. Fossil fuels with CCS enter the long-term electricity generation mix in all world regions. In contrast, there is a sharp regional difference in the renewable generation technology of choice in the long term. For example, the world regions suitable for PV plants include the US, Western Europe, Japan, Korea, and China, while those suitable for CSP plants include the Middle East, Africa, Australia, and western Asia. Offshore wind is deployed on a large scale in the UK, Ireland, Nordic countries, the southern part of Latin America, and Japan.

Share and Cite:

T. Takeshita, "Prospects for Renewable and Fossil-Based Electricity Generation in a Carbon-Constrained World," International Journal of Clean Coal and Energy, Vol. 2 No. 2B, 2013, pp. 35-43. doi: 10.4236/ijcce.2013.22B008.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] R. Moncel, P. Joffe, K. McCall and K. Levin, “Building the Climate Change Regime,” World Resource Institute, Washington DC, 2011.
[2] International Energy Agency (IEA), “Energy Technology Perspectives 2008,” IEA, Paris, 2008.
[3] IEA, “Energy Technology Perspectives 2010,” IEA, Paris, 2010.
[4] T. Takeshita and K. Yamaji, “Important Roles of Fischer-Tropsch Synfuels in the Global Energy Future,” Energy Policy, Vol. 36, No. 8, 2008, pp. 2791-2802. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2008.02.044
[5] T. Takeshita, “Assessing the Co-Benefits of CO2 Mitigation on Air Pollutants Emissions from Road Vehicles,” Applied Energy, Vol. 97, 2012, pp. 225-237.doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2011.12.029
[6] B. Metz, O. Davidson, P. Bosch, R. Dave and L. Meyer, Eds., “Climate Change 2007: Mitigation,” Contribution of Working Group III to the 4th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Cambridge University Press, New York, 2007.
[7] International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, “GGI Scenario Database,” 2007.
[8] H.-H. Rogner, “Energy Resources and Potentials,” In: T. B. Johansson, A. Patwardhan, N. Nakicenovic and L. G. Echeverri, Eds., Global Energy Assessment, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2012, pp. 425-512.
[9] Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and International Atomic Energy Agency, “Uranium 2001: Resources, Production and Demand,” OECD, Paris, 2002.
[10] M. Hoogwijk and W. Graus, “Global Potential of Renewable Energy Sources: A Literature Assessment,” ECOFYS, Utrecht, The Netherlands, 2008.
[11] W. Turkenburg, “Renewable Energy,” In: T. B. Johansson, A. Patwardhan, N. Nakicenovic and L. G. Echeverri, Eds., Global Energy Assessment, Cambridge University Press, New York, 2012, pp. 761-900.
[12] T. Takeshita, “A Strategy for Introducing Modern Bioenergy into Developing Asia to Avoid Dangerous Climate Change,” Applied Energy, Vol. 86, 2009, pp. S222-S232. doi:10.1016/j.apenergy.2009.04.023
[13] W. Short, N. Blair, P. Sullivan and T. Mai, “ReEDS Model Documentation: Base Case Data and Model Description,” National Re-newable Energy Laboratory, Golden, CO, 2009.
[14] M. Grahn, C. Azar, M. I. Williander, J. E. Anderson, S. A. Mueller and T. J. Wallington, “Fuel and Vehicle Technology Choices for Passenger Vehicles in Achieving Stringent CO2 Targets: Connections between Transportation and Other Energy Sectors,” Environmental Science & Technology, Vol. 43, No. 9, 2009, pp. 3365-3371. doi:10.1021/es802651r
[15] E. D. Larson, “Technology for Electricity and Fuels from Biomass,” Annual Review of Energy and the Environment, Vol. 18, 1993, pp. 567-630. doi:10.1146/
[16] CES-KULeuven-VITO, “The Belgian MARKAL Database,” DWTC/SSTC, Brussel, 2001.
[17] IEA, “Prospects for CO2 Capture and Storage,” IEA, Paris, 2004.
[18] IEA, “Prospects for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells,” IEA, Paris, 2005.
[19] IEA and NEA, “Projected Costs of Generating Electricity,” OECD, Paris, 2005.
[20] IPCC, “Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage,” Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2005.
[21] IEA and NEA, “Projected Costs of Generating Electricity 2010 Edition,” OECD, Paris, 2010.
[22] T. Takeshita and K. Yamaji, “Potential Contribution of Coal to the Future Global Energy System,” Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Vol. 8, No. 1, 2006, pp. 55-88. doi:10.1007/s10018-005-0123-x
[23] IEA, “Renewables for Power Generation,” IEA, Paris, 2003.
[24] IEA, “World Energy Outlook 2011,” IEA, Paris, 2011.
[25] J. David and H. Herzog, “The Cost of Carbon Capture,” Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies, Cairns, Australia, 13-16 August, 2000.

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.