Interesting little snippet on the news this morning: the EU carbon trading scheme is in some trouble, with prices heading down, because countries have issued excessive permits. Oops: someone has been careless (or naughty: I wonder which?). But thats for another day: today is:
Reducing CO2 emissions from the UK power sector: A report for WWF-UK by ILEX Energy Consulting, May 2006.
Whether its at all reliable I can’t really guess. Its got lots of acronyms and tables and figures to baffle the unwary, though. Its only about CO2 from power. Its own take is:
The analysis shows that relatively minor extensions to current policies and targets could enable the UK power sector to cut its CO2 emissions by approximately 40% from 1990 levels by 2010 and maintain them at this level until 2025 despite the closure of almost all nuclear power plants during this period. The modelling also shows that further incorporation of government aspirations and evolution of existing policies could potentially reap reductions of around 55% from 1990 levels through to 2025.
Part of that cut has already occured, in the switch from coal to gas. The report sez A key issue is the role that gas will play in the fuel mix. The results suggest that by 2025 between 62% and 65% of electricity generated will be done using gas. This seems perhaps somewhat dubious/optimistic. Is there really enough gas to supply that much power (for us and everyone else?) and will it be cheap enough? Most of the savings (as it says) occur by 2010; and I couldn’t see from the report exactly where they were coming from. Curious.
There is also a section (p 22) on carbon capture and storage. Ignoring (I think) the what-to-do-with-the-captured-CO2 it suggests that capturing most of the CO2 costs about 2x as much fuel use.
P 35 has a nice graph about historic and future electricity prices. These show options under the 3 scenarios out to 2050… and oddly enough prices are roughly stable at 2005 values (£37/Mwh), plus or minus a bit, to 2050; though the BAU scenario is cheaper than the action scenarios. However… then you look at 2003 (£19) and 2004 (£22) and wonder if these projections are wroth anything, cos I bet an analysis started a year earlier would not have predicted anything as high as £37 for 2005.
So thats all a bit inconclusive really. What I want is for someone else to read the report properly and tell me what to think :-)