περιβάλλον και πολιτική

Reducing CO2 emissions from the electric sector by the year 2030-policy recommendations (case study Greece)

leave a comment »

The case of Greece

Greece is a country of 131000 klm2 and 11 million people. But we must also keep in mind two more important facts: It’s a mountainous country, with 10000 villages, 3000 islands –100- inhabited. The islanders are almost 1 million people. The country also welcomes 25 million of tourists every year.
Αll of these people and places need energy. Steady, safe and cheap electric energy over a grid made and regulated through the public company of ΔΕH (DEI).

In 2014 the total energy production was 35,3 TWh (2000: 48,5 increased to in 2007: 53.9 and continuously decreasing since then).
The grid has to electrify an extremely big and difficult land (mountains and on the same time islands over an almost square side land with 1000 km diagonal).
The installed power is 12,8 GW (64% of the country’s total) (in 2010, it was 5,4 in 1980 and only 0,6 in 1960).
The flux of energy (installed capacity) is: 30% coal, 15% diesel, 15% natural gas, 20% hydroelectric, 10% renewables and others. According to 2013 data thermal units were10,060 GW, and the other units 7,222 GW.
When it comes to production the situation is follows: 55% from coal, 16% from diesel etc, 20% from natural gas and less than 10% from hydroelectric and renewables. So the installed capacity doesn’t mean that the end of fossil fuels production reaches an end. The price is about 41€/MWh.
Coal is extremely cheap, there is plenty of it in the country and the reserves are enough for 400 years. Because of economic crisis and memorandums the energy system is in a transition period towards privatization.

It is clear that electricity production basically comes from fossil fuels, coal, oil and natural gas. So a great problem of CO2 and other greenhouse gases has to be faced and controlled. There is also a great health impact. Some years ago there was a serious problem evening Athens. Air pollution (SO2, NOx, CO2) and PM were found in the city’s air. The regulations (closing near thermal units, unleaded gasoline etc) have made a progress. But in places like Ptolemaida (north Greece) or Megalopolis (south Greece) the problem is extremely serious, the lifespan is much shorter and cancer and lungs and cardiovascular diseases are increasing (more than double PM2.5 than the rest of the country, around 23 μg/m3) .
We must also take into account the obligations of the country because of international treaties and EC regulations for CO2 emissions and climate change.

Recommendations

The solution is not easy. If the aim is a better environment, in the year 2030, there must be a shift from a fossil fuels energy production to other safer for humans and the environment methods. But this is going to be very difficult for such a small time period (only 15 years). A 50% reduction of fossil fuels (practically almost 90% comes from fossil fuels nowadays) means that there must be a solution of an increase of not fossil methods to reach the capacity of about 20 TWh per year. The LCOE for natural gas in 2015 was around 19 /MWh. The LCOE for lignite in 2012 was 59,93 €/MWh because the energy density of Greek lignite (brown coal) is around 1.200kcal/kg. Unfortunately there isn’t an administration such as US EIA in Greece and the data comes from many different sources.

What can be the solutions?

Theoretically nuclear power, wind, solar, hydroelectric, bio-fuels etc.
But the answer isn’t so simple. The solution of nuclear power is impossible for Greece. The ecological movement and the left political parties of the country are not going to permit this solution. For them this subject is the holly grail of ecology for
Greece. They believe that this is very dangerous for a small and seismogenic country, with small distances from the probable location of a factory and populated cities etc.

Next solution is renewables.

Wind farms have been deployed during the last two decades all over the country. The installed capacity is 1558,2 MW. Medium price of wind energy in 2016: 98 €/MWh. Unfortunately with no respect to the landscape, the history, the use of land and the wild beauty of Greek natural environment. They have a great cost for construction and sometimes they are not connected to the grid. It seems that one the main reasons for their deployment is the big subsidies that companies and the owners can take from the state and the EC. Wind farms also sell the electricity 3-4 more expensive from the price of the fossil fuels production. I addition they cause problems to tourism, agriculture and animals breeding. Naturally all of these problems have started a big war against them from environmentally thinking people and the local societies. If we want to keep them we must find really new ways of deploying them.

Solar power is almost at the beginning. The installed capacity is 260,67 MW. This is strange enough for a country with very good solar radiation. You can find some PVs over the roofs of houses. But there aren’t serious solar power production facilities. In the case of solar we do not face the problems of wind, like the big land footprint, or the heavy landscape spoiling. And this can be avoided in the future if we do not use important land for the installation of solar PVs. The solar power’s land footprint is one of the lowest. Around 1%. We can use deserted industrial areas and open pits (e.g. coal and other minerals mines, or for marble and stones used in building industry etc.). Following this solution solar power can give the necessary electricity for decreasing the fossil fuels production. With 1% land coverage solar power is able to cover the primary electric energy production of the country. This is less from the almost 1,5-2% of land used for wind farms (already in use but offering only around 3% of the total electric energy production. The price per MWh is almost 3 times bigger than the price from thermal units. This must change. Otherwise the cost of mitigation will stay to expensive for the shift from CO2 correlated energy to clear energy. It is not logical to buy 4 times more expensive solar power in Greece than in Germany. The medium price in 2016 is 257€/MWh.

Bio-fuels is not a great idea for this situation. Although there are good results from some research centers (polytechnic and university schools) generally they are expensive and their CO2 emissions are not minimal.

One of the important parts of the solution is the improvement in efficiency and efficacy of energy technologies. New lightening technologies, better thermal insulation of houses and big buildings, more public transportation, better and newer cars, bicycles and more walking (also a health exercise on the same moment) must be part of the energy use and the energy planning for the near future. One of the advantages of these solutions is that they are not very expensive. Some of them have no cost, because they are just different ways of living and thinking. And all of them can be applied very fast in short time periods (days, months or just some years). All of these result to Carbon Reduction. Some examples: Driving your car 50% less or carpooling with another person can save ~1000-3000 kg CO2e/yr. Upgrading the lightning technology of a medium sized house can save ~100-300 kg CO2e/yr.

Other methods.

More taxes in not going to have good results. The country faces 30% GDP decline and 50% increase in taxes and consumer values. Nobody can pay –or can accept to pay- more money for CO2 reduction.

Hydroelectric is already an important factor. But it is difficult to accept the idea of a big increase of its part to the total energy production. The main reason is the fact that there is less water in the country and because of climate change we can not expect a better future situation. Fewer rains and snows, more heat and perspiration makes the water for hydroelectric a valuable asset that is going to be less and as a result you can’t expect to find a CO2 solution to this kind of energy production. Another well known problem is the big land use and landscape alterations that are caused by huge dams etc. The idea of small hydroelectric for islands etc isn’t a serious one. The water problem is more serious there and even under the best perspectives the planning is about 0,5% participation at the final energy sum. These kind of ideas are mainly for political reasons and not for energy reasons. They are for the impression not for the result.

But the CO2 reduction (and of the other GHG) needs a really new process, a radical change of the basis of energy production for the country.
Taking into account the previous the only really logical solutions, with the best results and prospects, are solar power under a reasonable cost and land use and improvement in efficiency and efficacy.

[Synthesis Assignment: Policy Recommendations, Aug. 2016, written by Dimitrios D.Soufleris –  HarvardX: ENGSCI137x Energy Within Environmental Constraints]

Advertisements

Written by dds2

Νοέμβριος 21, 2016 στις 1:12 πμ

Σχολιάστε

Εισάγετε τα παρακάτω στοιχεία ή επιλέξτε ένα εικονίδιο για να συνδεθείτε:

Λογότυπο WordPress.com

Σχολιάζετε χρησιμοποιώντας τον λογαριασμό WordPress.com. Αποσύνδεση / Αλλαγή )

Φωτογραφία Twitter

Σχολιάζετε χρησιμοποιώντας τον λογαριασμό Twitter. Αποσύνδεση / Αλλαγή )

Φωτογραφία Facebook

Σχολιάζετε χρησιμοποιώντας τον λογαριασμό Facebook. Αποσύνδεση / Αλλαγή )

Φωτογραφία Google+

Σχολιάζετε χρησιμοποιώντας τον λογαριασμό Google+. Αποσύνδεση / Αλλαγή )

Σύνδεση με %s

Αρέσει σε %d bloggers: