Output from coal fired generators peaked in 2003 and again in 2005 just as the

Output from coal fired generators peaked in 2003 and

This preview shows page 22 - 24 out of 52 pages.

Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany and the UK. Output from coal-fired generators peaked in 2003, and again in 2005, just as the EU emission trading scheme for greenhouse gases was being introduced. Even before this, the UK had in place a trial national emission trading scheme which started in 2002 and ended in 2006, similar to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) but for UK-based organisations only. The downward trend in coal-fired power output since 2007 is unlikely to recover. The years 2008 and 2009 saw steep declines of 8% and 9% respectively in OECD Europe, and further declines are likely. Over the period to 2016, a number of coal-fired power stations are due to be retired due to age. As coal-fired stations shut, they will be replaced with gas-fired capacity. The impact of tighter CO 2 legislation and the continuing advance of gas-fired power may well push coal out of the merit order in many countries. Such countries, including the UK, will need to adapt to a different set of uncertainties regarding their electricity supplies. Increasing reliance on imported gas and LNG will need to be carefully managed as the price volatility of gas is far more aggressive than coal; managing both gas supplies and price will create greater demands on utilities and end consumers, especially for Northern European countries in winter months. Increased renewable power is often considered a threat to stable supplies, notably because of the intermittency of such power sources. No major economy in the world yet relies on wind power for its main source of power although Germany and Scotland have political aspirations to do so. It is unlikely renewables could sustain a large economy without vast storage facilities such as pumped storage hydro. 22 IEA CLEAN COAL CENTRE Structural changes in the demand for coal in the power sector in Europe Figure 10 Electricity production in OECD Europe, GWh (IEA, 2011) 0 1000 500 1500 2500 3000 3500 4000 2000 Electricity production, TWh 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 solar/wind/other hydro nuclear natural gas oil products coal and coal products
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Increased developments in gas-fired power in Europe and a slowdown in overall economic activity and electricity demand resulting from a prolonged economic crisis post-2007 may well see a decline in coal supplies to OECD Europe in the medium term. Where the few replacement power plants will be built, new ultra-supercritical power plants will provide a significant efficiency improvement on older plants, perhaps reducing coal demand and CO 2 per MWh by 20–30% from the plant it replaces. However, without a significant ongoing commitment to invest and develop a CCS network, new coal- fired power plants in Europe will be few. To illustrate this decline, Figure 11 shows the trend in apparent consumption of all coal in OECD Europe, defined as production plus net imports. Total coal consumption in OECD Europe dropped 33% between 1980 and 2008. The major decline occurred when coal consumption dropped from 660 Mtce in 1980 to below 500 Mtce in the 1990s (a difference of 160 Mtce). By the late 1990s, coal
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