CCS Retrofit: Analysis of the Global Installed Power Plant Fleet
Electricity generation from coal is still growing rapidly and energy scenarios from the IEA expect a possible increase from today’s 1 600 GW of coal-fired power plants to over 2 600 GW until 2035. This trend will increase the lock-in of carbon intensive electricity sources, while IEA assessments show that two-thirds of total abatement from all sectors should come from the power sector alone to support a least-cost abatement strategy. Since coal-fired power plants have a fairly long lifetime, and in order to meet climate constraints, there is a need either to apply CCS retrofit to some of today’s installed coal-fired power plants once the technology becomes available. Another option would be to retire some plants before the end of their lifetime.
This working paper discusses criteria relevant to differentiating between the technical, cost-effective and realistic potential for CCS retrofit. The paper then discusses today’s coal-fired power plant fleet from a statistical perspective, by looking at age, size and the expected performance of today’s plant across several countries. The working paper also highlights the growing demand for applying CCS retrofitting to the coal-fired power plant fleet of the future. In doing so this paper aims at emphasising the need for policy makers, innovators and power plant operators to quickly complete the development of the CCS technology and to identify key countries where retrofit applications will have the biggest extent and impact.