Published on April 16, 2014
Power generation in the UK: Carbon Source or Carbon Sink? Niall Mac Dowella,b a. Centre for Process Systems Engineering b. Centre for Environmental Policy Imperial College London firstname.lastname@example.org @Niallmacdowell UKCCSRC Direct Air Capture/Negative Emissions Workshop Imperial College London 18th March 2014
Outline • What is BECCS? • Why should we do BECCS? • How do we do BECCS? • Pitfalls of BECCS? • Outlook for BECCS N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Outline • What is BECCS? – The TESBIC project • Some key findings of TESBIC – BECCS Technologies • Why should we do BECCS? • How do we do BECCS? • Pitfalls of BECCS? • Outlook on BECCS N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
What is BECCS? • Using biomass (with/without co-firing of fossil fuels) in conjunction with CCS leading to net negative emissions – Acronym first used by Fisher, B.S., et al. (2007) in B. Metz et al. (Eds.), IPCC 4th Assessment Report • BECCS offers the potential to achieve long‐term reductions in GHG emissions necessary to stabilise atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and could be applied to a wide range of biomass‐related technologies • Compared to CCS, BECCS appears to have a much lower profile than CCS – BECCS has been observed to increase public acceptance of CCS – BECCS can add important flexibility to GHG mitigation toolbox N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
What is BECCS? N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
The TESBIC project N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Some key findings of TESBIC N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Some key findings of TESBIC 1. Co-firing with CCS - Costly - Moderately negative - Large scale only 2. Dedicated biomass with conventional CCS - Costly - Suitable for small scale 3. Dedicated biomass with advanced CCS - High efficiency - Suitable for small scale N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
BECCS Technologies 1 Moderately negative, possibly nearer term – Coal-biomass systems • Co-firing: post-combustion capture and oxy-combustion • Co-gasification 2 More negative, more development needed? – Gas-biomass combustion systems – Gas-biomass gasification systems – Gas-biomass looping combustion 3 Highly negative, near term or development needed – Dedicated biomass (combustion, gasification, looping) 4 Very highly negative, long term, development needed – Biomass combustion with CaO looping and ocean liming N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Technology 4: Biomass combustion with CaO looping and ocean liming N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Outline • What is BECCS? • Why should we do BECCS? – What is the role of BECCS in cutting CO2 emissions? – What is the mitigation potential in the UK? • How do we do BECCS? • Potential BECCS pitfalls • Outlook on BECCS N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Why should we do BECCS? System State of Stored Carbon Description Published Cost Estimates Afforestation & Reforestation Biomass and soil organic carbon Restoring cleared forests and planting new forests on suitable land $20-100/tCO2 Wetland Restoration Biomass and soil organic carbon Restoring damaged, carbon-dense wetlands such as peatlands and mangrove forests. On the order of $10-100/tCO2 in some cases Agricultural Soil Sequestration Soil organic carbon Adopting a range of practices on arable and grazing lands that enhance soil carbon levels, including reduced tillage and new cropping patterns. $0-100/tCO2, and can be cost negative BECCS Pressurised CO2 in geological storage Capturing CO2 from biomass-fuelled power plants or industries and storing it in geological reservoirs. $60-120/tCO2, but perhaps as little as $25/tCO2 in niches such as bioethanol production Direct Air Capture (DAC) Pressurised CO2 in geological storage Capturing CO2 directly from the air using chemical sorbents and storing it in geological reservoirs. Widely varying, from $30- 1000/tCO2, depending on system and assumptions Enhanced Silicate Weathering Dissolved bicarbonate and carbonate in groundwater or oceans Spreading finely ground silicate mineral powder on land or ocean to accelerate natural reaction with atmospheric CO2 $20-130/tCO2 assuming complete reaction Ocean Liming Dissolved bicarbonate and carbonate in oceans Adding lime or other metal oxides / hydroxides to the ocean to convert dissolved CO2 to bicarbonate and drive drawdown from the atmosphere. $70-160/tCO2 Adapted from Lomax, G. et al, Energy Policy, 2014, In Press N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Why should we do BECCS? • Potential to offer deep reductions in atmospheric CO2 concentrations – Current emission reduction technology may not be adequate – Many future emission scenarios require negative emissions • Appears practicable and relatively cost-effective – Cheaper than CCS on transport – Cheaper than DAC • Could be applied to a wide range of technologies • Offers the potential for carbon-offsetting – Address “hard to reach” areas N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
BECCS and Energy Systems Mitigation N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Growth in total power generation by region • Increased electrification is a critical element of decarbonisation • Note OECD EU/US outpaced by China (2014 - 2030s) and India (2040 – 2050s) N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Summary of power generation mix scenarios (low fossil fuel prices) • Total generation in LMS is 117 EJ and 147 EJ in LCS • Each of the LCS scenarios represents a world with an average carbon intensity of 94 gCO2/kWhr • BECCS plays an important role in all scenariosN. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
What is the CO2 mitigation potential of BECCS in the UK? • UK’s negative emission potential in the range 21.3 – 82.4 MtCO2/yr • Indigenous biomass potentially small – import is necessary • AVOID / Workstream 2 / Deliverable 1 / Report 18 [ AV/WS2/D1/18 ] Negative Emissions Curve (MtCO2/yr) for the UK ramp up of BECCS between 2020 to 2030 assuming linear increase in biomass production and full utilisation. Negative Emissions (MtCO2/yr) N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
How much biomass is there? 0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 0 1 2 3 4 5 Energycroppotential(EJ) Land area assumed for energy crops (Gha) Bauen04 Beringer11 Cannell02 de Vries07 Field08 Fischer01 Hall93 Johansson93 Hoogwijk05 Hookwijk03 Lysen08 Moreira06 Sims06 Smeets07 WEA2000 WGBU09 Wolf03 5odt.ha-1 10odt.ha-1 15odt.ha-1 Global arable area Global pasture area Slade et al., EES, 2011 N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Economics v emissions -100 -500 -1000 50 100 150 200 kgCO2/MWh LCOE £/MWh 1 2 3 4 N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Outline • What is BECCS? • Why should we do BECCS? • How do we do BECCS? – A UK case study using MINLP • Pitfalls of BECCS? • Outlook on BECCS N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Mac Dowell et al, Energy & Environ. Sci, 2010 Decarbonised electricity generation – a multi-scale problem Mac Dowell et al., CACE., 2010 Mac Dowell et al., Int. J. GHG. Con., 2013 Mac Dowell et al., Int. J. GHG. Con., 2013 Mac Dowell et al., Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2010 Mac Dowell et al., J. Phys. Chem. B, 2011 Rodriguez et al., Mol. Phys., 2012 Mac Dowell et al., CACE., 2011 Akgul et al., Int. J. GHG. Con., 2014 Mac Dowell et al., Int. J. GHG. Con., 2014 N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
BECCS Network: Problem Statement 3,870MW 31 26 27 28 29 30 24232221 32 33 34 1918 2017 13 14 15 9 10 11 6 7 8 3 4 5 1 2 25 16 12 Co-firing plants 2,008MW 2,000 MWe 1,972MW 1,960MW 1,940MW1,925MW 750MW 1,955MW 1,006MW Given • Biomass availability and cost • Fuel and CO2 cost • Energy demand Determine • Which plants • % Co-firing • % CO2 capture Meta process model y = yb + A(x – xb) Input Samples Outputs; Meta- Model generation u y Meta- model Case studies (WP2), Public domain data/models • 10 Power plants • Capacity = 19 GW • Demand = 9 GW Akul et al., Int. J. GHG. Con., 2014 N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
What is the whole-system objective function? ∑∑∈ ∈ = Pp Gg pgp EICCRFTAC ∑∑∈ ∈ + Ri Gg igig PUSCα ∑∑∑∈ ∈ ∈ + Ri Gg Pp ipgiip DfUPC γα ∑∈ + Gg gelecg PUGC .,α ∑∈ + Gg gfossilgg mUFOC ,ϕα ∑∈ + Gg ggelec CIPUCARC .,α ∑ ∑ ∈ ∈ + Ri Gg igg PALDUTC* α Total pellet production plant capital cost Total biomass supply cost Total pellet production cost Total non-fuel power generation cost Total fossil fuel cost Total carbon cost Total raw material transportation cost Economic objective function ∑ ∈ = Gg ggelec CIPTAE .,α Environmental objective function Total annual CO2 emissions Akul et al., Int. J. GHG. Con., 2013 (Sub) Biomass + SRF cost Power plant cost CO2 cost Supply chain cost Environmental cost N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
What is the fuel composition? • This is important as the fuel energy density and moisture content are key contributors to overall system cost, efficiency and carbon intensity • The biogenic MSW is assumed to have the same composition as “standard” biomass Parameter Bituminous coal Biomass GCV (MJ kg-1) 24.6 18.7 Moisture 12.0 7.0 C 59.6 43.5 H 3.8 4.5 N 1.5 0.2 O 5.5 42.6 S 1.8 0.01 Cl 0.2 0.01 • Coal: standard bituminous coal, UK BCURA coal bank • Biomass fuel specification from Orchid Environmental N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
What are the cost scenarios? • We use coal and CO2 price projections from UK Department of Energy and Climate Change • Notable for rather conservative coal prices and generally optimistic CO2 prices • Is this realistic? Low carbon price scenario Central carbon price scenario High carbon price scenario CO2 (£/t) Coal (£/t) CO2 (£/t) Coal (£/t) CO2 (£/t) Coal (£/t) 2012 13 80 22 84 28 89 2020 14 52 25 71 31 98 2050 100 52 200 71 300 100 N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
What does the UK look like in 2020? N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
…and in 2050? N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
What are the trade-offs in cost? (Low Carbon price) Akul et al., Int. J. GHG. Con., 2014 Coal gen. only Coal gen. + CCS Co-firing of biomass pellets with coal+CCS Co-firing of biomass and SRF pellets with coal+CCS N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
What are the trade-offs in cost? (Central Carbon price) N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Is there a route to cost BECCS reduction? • BECCS with co-firing and amine scrubbing is clearly a costly option – Recall TESBIC project! • In particular, there is a non-monotonic relationship between the costs associated with “low carbon” and “carbon negative” • One route to cost reduction: – an increase in biomass availability, either through import or land use change: – Slade et al, Energy and Environmental Science, 2011 N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
What is the effect of increased biomass availability? Akul et al., Int. J. GHG. Con., 2013 (Sub) £82/MWh£73/MWh -31MT CO2/yr -27MT CO2/yr N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
What is the effect of increased biomass availability? • Increased biomass availability can reduce BECCS costs • Improved land yield? • Land use change: – Must be aware of competition for arable land for food – CO2 emissions associated with land use change must be accounted for – these can be difficult to quantify • Importing biomass is an important option – Recall AVOID project N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
BECCS Network: Conclusions • Using existing generation assets, proven technology and indigenous biomass, its possible to remove 27 – 31 MtCO2/yr from the atmosphere • This is equivalent to 23 - 26% of the UK’s ground transport emissions in 2012 – https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/att achment_data/file/193414/280313_ghg_national_statistics_ release_2012_provisional.pdf • The MINLP framework we have developed provides a useful platform with which to investigate the potential of other BECCS technologies – For example, BIGCC + CCS and so forth N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Outline • What is BECCS? • Why should we do BECCS? • How do we do BECCS? • Pitfalls of BECCS? – Carbon accounting? – Horsemeat in the supply chain? • Outlook on BECCS N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Pitfalls of BECCS – Carbon accounting? • International climate reporting guidelines, as they currently apply to industrialised countries (Annex I Parties), only make passing reference to CCS – Accounting guidelines relating to Kyoto Protocol make no mention of it at all. – The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), does not currently allow for CCS projects • Revised carbon reporting guidelines were developed by IPCC in 2006 – Specifically refer to CCS and provide guidance to ensure that its reported fairly in national GHG inventories – Make no distinction between CCS on fossil or biomass – They explicitly account for negative emissions • Revised IPCC guidelines have not yet been adopted by Annex I parties, but are envisaged to become binding by 2015 – The UK will need to provide clear and unambiguous incentives for negative emissions technology Data from: Working paper of the IEA: “Combining Bioenergy with CCS: Reporting and Accounting for Negative Emissions under UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Pitfalls of BECCS - Horsemeat in the supply chain? • If biomass is produced from unsustainable sources – Its use may contribute to environmental degradation in a number of different ways • Carbon emissions • Land use change • Water depletion • Loss of biodiversity – Its damaging effects may outweigh the benefits of negative CO2 emissions • Current accounting for biomass-related impacts under the Kyoto Protocol may not be comprehensive – Annex I Parties are required to report such emissions under LULUCF • LULUF: Land use, land-use change and forestry – Parties are able to opt into or out of accounting for certain LULUCF activities • Raises the possibility of the GHG benefits of BECCS counting towards Kyoto Protocol GHG commitments, but the dis-benefits of using unsustainable biomass in BECCS being ignored Data from: Working paper of the IEA: “Combining Bioenergy with CCS: Reporting and Accounting for Negative Emissions under UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Pitfalls of BECCS - Horsemeat in the supply chain? • Further risk: an Annex I Party establishing a BECCS project that is fuelled by biomass from a developing country – Any assessment of biomass sustainability could realistically not be made from GHG reporting – could lead to a situation where the Annex I Party benefits from negative emissions against its Kyoto Protocol commitments, but even greater positive emissions go unreported in the country where the biomass was sourced • The question of biomass sustainability in the context of the Kyoto Protocol should be urgently addressed Data from: Working paper of the IEA: “Combining Bioenergy with CCS: Reporting and Accounting for Negative Emissions under UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Outline • What is BECCS? • Why should we do BECCS? • How do we do BECCS? • Pitfalls of BECCS? • Outlook on BECCS N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
Outlook on BECCS • BECCS is a highly promising option for the near-term, cost-effective removal of CO2 from the atmosphere – Significantly less costly than DAC • BECCS is more costly than conventional CCS, but less costly than attempting decarbonisation of disperse sources, e.g., transport – Important carbon offsetting potential – Significant scope for disruptive technologies to make a difference • Ocean liming? • Some important regulatory gaps remain – Carbon accounting – Incentivising negative emissions from power stations (in the UK) N. Mac Dowell, Imperial College 2014
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