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About Cleaner Electricity Production

More about Group of Experts on Cleaner Energy Production from Fossil Fuels

Areas of Work

  • Regulatory and policy dialogue
  • Sharing best practices in the field of cleaner electricity production from fossil fuels in the ECE region
  • Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), as well as carbon utilization
  • Enhanced oil recovery with carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Advanced fossil fuels technologies for power generation
  • Evaluation of efficiency enhancing measures for coal-fired power plants including steam generators, air and flue gas systems, steam turbines, generators.

 

The work of the Group of Experts on Cleaner Energy Production from Fossil Fuels is not limited to CCS. ECE member States could decide to develop other concrete and results-oriented activities within agreed mandates. CSE encourages the exchange of know-how and best practices between relevant experts of all member States in order to attract investments in advanced fossil fuels technologies for electricity generation with a view to supporting industrial and economic competitiveness and achieving low-carbon sustainable development.

 

 

Topics

In 2014 the Group of Experts is focused primarily on CCS. International activities for UNECE member States to consider are opportunities to collaborate and actively participate in several upcoming Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (CSLF) Working Groups on the following topics:

  • Technical working group activities in CO2 utilization options
  • CCS technology gaps closure
  • Carbon capture energy penalty reduction
  • Carbon capture and storage (CCS) with industrial emissions sources
  • Technical challenges for conversion of CO2-enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to CCS
  • Identifying and assessing links between technology-related risks and liability
  • Competition of CCS with other resources
  • Stimulating introduction of innovative technologies, notably on electricity with a focus on controlling emissions
  • Analysis of the efficiency of the fleet of conventional power plants and based on this development of best practices on the implementation of modernization measures from an economic and environmental perspective.

BACKGROUND

The UNECE region faces significant challenges in meeting growing electricity demand. Electricity dominates almost all sectors of final energy consumption, with the exception of the transport sector. Global demand for electricity is expected to double by 2030 led largely due to growth in developing economies , while the UNECE region will see a 50% increase in demand. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), if present trends continue, US$16 trillion of investment will be needed globally over the next three decades to maintain and expand energy supply of which US$4 trillion will need to be invested in the UNECE region, about equally in generation and in transmission and distribution.

Although renewable sources and nuclear energy play very important roles in supplying primary fuel for electricity production, fossil fuels, especially coal and natural gas, are the dominant fuels for generating electric power globally and in the the UNECE region. Over 60% of the electricity generated in the UNECE region comes from fossil fuels and this trend is expected to continue given that the region holds 40% of the world’s natural gas reserves and 60% of global coal reserves. Combustion of fossil fuels, however, presents a range of environmental challenges, including carbon dioxide emissions, release of traditional criteria pollutants such as SO2 , NOx and particulate matter, and waste disposal. Production of electricity from fossil fuels must also deliver on environmental performance to ensure its long-term sustainability and acceptance.

HISTORY

In November 2006 at its 15th Session, the UNECE’s Committee on Sustainable Energy recognized the importance of encouraging investment in the power sector while ensuring that it is done so in an environmentally sustainable manner. To carry out this work, the Committee created the Ad Hoc Group of Experts on Cleaner Electricity from Coal and Other Fossil Fuels. Specifically the Ad Hoc Group of Experts provides a forum for an intergovernmental dialogue on investment and regulation for the promotion of cleaner electricity production between governmentally appointed experts, complemented by the participation of representatives from the electric power industry and other related industries, as well as the international financial sector and relevant international organizations.

In creating this Group, the Committee on Sustainable Energy consolidated the efforts of two earlier working groups, the Ad Hoc Group of Experts on Coal in Sustainable Development which focused principally on coal production and coal industry restructuring, and the Ad Hoc Group of Experts on Electric Power which focused on investment in the electricity sector and facilitation of cross-border transfers. Consolidation recognizes first that many of the issues related to coal have shifted from production to utilization. In addition, it also acknowledges the strong interrelationship and interdependency between liberalizing electricity and natural gas markets, improving environmental performance, and successfully attracting investment to the power sector.

CONSOLIDATED ACTIVITIES TO CLEANER ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION