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KIC InnoEnergy and BVG Associates launch coal and gas report

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Hydrocarbon Engineering,

KIC InnoEnergy and BVG Associates (BVGA) have launched a joint report, ‘Future Energy Costs: Coal and Gas Technologies’. The Europe-wide study assesses how technology innovation could reduce the cost of energy from both gas combined heat and power (CHP) and coal plant. The report also details changes required to allow coal and gas-based power generation to compete with cleaner power sources on the global energy market.

The study analysed 40 European combustion system innovations. From that list, 28 technologies were identified with the potential to reduce the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) by 17% in gas CHP and 27% in coal plant by 2025. These innovations were identified and assessed by subject matter experts nominated by KIC InnoEnergy.

KIC InnoEnergy and BVGA established these future costs based on elements of capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operational expenditure (OPEX), as well as annual energy production. The report identified innovations that will allow coal and gas CHP plant reaching their financial investment decisions in 2020 and 2025. The methodology used was established by BVGA and implemented by KIC InnoEnergy over four previous projects, covering onshore and offshore wind, solar photovoltaic and solar thermal energy generation.

“This report is important as it helps us to understand how to best enhance the capabilities of coal and CHP plant,” said Marcin Lewenstein, KIC InnoEnergy Thematic Field Leader, Clean Coal and Clean Gas Technologies.

“The findings are paramount in showing how we can help improve the running and LCOE of existing infrastructure. The technologies identified will have a big impact in limiting coal emissions, making sure systems are safe and adapt to market challenges.”

The report found that the four major innovations that reduced OPEX in gas CHP plants were in engine mechanical design and in boosting systems. These technologies help increase power density in lean combustion, which helps increase thermal efficiency, and in the use of alternative gaseous fuels, which in turn reduces OPEX.

In the case of clean coal, reduced fuel OPEX is achieved through innovations that enable the use of lower cost fuel and waste products. The three major innovations here were thermal pretreatment of biomass and waste-based fuels, hybrid fuel combustion and fuel modification.

“We’re delighted to see that innovation to reduce costs and greenhouse gas emissions are as important in other sectors of the energy system as they are in the renewables sectors,” said Bruce Valpy of BVG Associates. “It’s great to have extended the robust BVG Associates methodology for modelling the impacts of power system innovations on cost of energy to cover fuel-based energy systems. We are committed to enabling innovators to target where they can make the biggest difference. We also want to support informed discussion on future energy policy and work like this aids comparison between sectors that previously it has been hard to compare.”

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