To meet future energy demand growth and replace older or inefficient units, a large number of fossil fuel-fired plants will be required to be built worldwide in the next decade. Yet CO2 emissions from fossil-fired power generation are a major contributor to climate change.
As a result, new plants must be designed and operated at highest efficiency both to reduce CO2 emissions and to facilitate deployment of CO2 capture and storage in the future. The series of case studies in this report, which respond to a request to the IEA from the G8 Summit in July 2005, were conducted to illustrate what efficiency is achieved now in modern plants in different parts of the world using different grades of fossil fuels.
The plants were selected from different geographical areas, because local factors influence attainable efficiency. The case studies include pulverized coal combustion (PCC) with both subcritical and supercritical (very high pressure and temperature) steam turbine cycles, a review of current and future applications of coal-fuelled integrated gasification combined cycle plants (IGCC), and a case study of a natural gas fired combined cycle plant to facilitate comparisons.