Emissions from distributed vs. centralized generation: the importance of system performance

Strachan, N. and Farrell, A. 2006. Emissions from distributed vs. centralized generation: the importance of system performance. Energy Policy. 34 (17), pp. 2677-2689.

TitleEmissions from distributed vs. centralized generation: the importance of system performance
AuthorsStrachan, N. and Farrell, A.
Abstract

Distributed generation (DG) offers a number of potential benefits, but questions remain about environmental performance. Air emissions from five key DG technologies; gas engines, diesel engines, gas turbines, micro-turbines, and fuel cells, were systematically compared with total energy supply systems based on centralized gas turbines (CCGT) and coal steam turbines plus distributed heating (DH) using gas-fired boilers. Based on emissions and operational factors from existing commercially marketed DG-CHP technologies, combined heat and power (CHP) applications are considered, which are remotely monitored and operated as base-load supply. Emissions results are characterized using heat-to-power ratios (HPRs), which concisely describe different types of energy demand under different applications or seasonal conditions. At an HPR of zero (i.e. the special case of electricity-only), CCGT with DH gives the lowest emissions portfolio, but at HPR values typical for buildings in the United States, efficiency advantages ensure gas-fired combustion DG-CHP technologies become broadly competitive across the range of key emissions. Fuel cell DG-CHP provides a very low emissions portfolio, but at a significant cost premium. At higher HPR values, emissions from heat supply can become a key issue, leading to the surprising finding that some combustion-based DG-CHP systems have lower total emissions than fuel cell-based systems. Based on these insights, the paper concludes with a discussion of streamlined yet rigorous regulatory approaches for DG-CHP technologies.

KeywordsDistributed generation; Emissions; Combined heat and power
JournalEnergy Policy
Journal citation34 (17), pp. 2677-2689
ISSN0301-4215
YearNov 2006
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2005.03.015
Publication dates
PublishedNov 2006

Related outputs

Hydrogen system modelling
Balta-Ozkan, N. and Strachan, N. 2010. Hydrogen system modelling. in: Ekins, P. (ed.) Hydrogen energy: economic and social challenges London Earthscan. pp. 125-152

Soft-linking energy systems and GIS models to investigate spatial hydrogen infrastructure development in a low-carbon UK energy system
Strachan, N., Balta-Ozkan, N., Joffe, D., McGeevor, K. and Hughes, N. 2009. Soft-linking energy systems and GIS models to investigate spatial hydrogen infrastructure development in a low-carbon UK energy system. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy. 34 (2), pp. 642-657.

Setting greenhouse gas emission targets under baseline uncertainty: the Bush climate change initiative
Strachan, N. 2007. Setting greenhouse gas emission targets under baseline uncertainty: the Bush climate change initiative. Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change. 12 (4), pp. 455-470.

Analysis of UKSHEC hydrogen visions in the UK MARKAL energy system model
Balta-Ozkan, N., Kannan, R. and Strachan, N. 2007. Analysis of UKSHEC hydrogen visions in the UK MARKAL energy system model. London UK Sustainable Hydrogen Energy Consortium.

UK scenarios development method
Strachan, N. 2006. UK scenarios development method. First Workshop on Developing Visions for a Low Carbon Society through Sustainable Development. Tokyo, Japan 14 Jun 2006

Modelling long-term carbon abatement scenarios with UK MARKAL
Kannan, R. and Strachan, N. 2006. Modelling long-term carbon abatement scenarios with UK MARKAL. 6th BIEE Academic Conference: Energy Policies in a Global Context. Oxford, UK 20-21 Sep 2006

Incorporating behavioural responses within a technology optimization model
Kannan, R. and Strachan, N. 2006. Incorporating behavioural responses within a technology optimization model. 6th BIEE Academic Conference: Energy Policies in a Global Context. Oxford, UK 20-21 Sep 2006

UK MARKAL modelling: results and insights
Ekins, P. and Strachan, N. 2006. UK MARKAL modelling: results and insights. UK Energy Research Centre: Annual Assembly 2006. Edinburgh, Scotland 05-06 Jul 2006

1st interim report on the updated UK MARKAL energy systems model
Strachan, N., Balta-Ozkan, N., Dresner, S., Joffe, D., Taylor, P., Greenleaf, J. and Pye, S. 2005. 1st interim report on the updated UK MARKAL energy systems model. London, UK UK Energy Research Centre.

Issues on future technology cost estimation: an (incomplete) overview
Strachan, N. and Balta-Ozkan, N. 2005. Issues on future technology cost estimation: an (incomplete) overview. UKERC / ETSAP Workshop on Modelling Future Energy Technology Cost and Technology Cost. Oxford, UK 15 Nov 2005

Energy-economy-engineering environment: an E4 representation of the UK energy system
Barker, T., Ekins, P. and Strachan, N. 2005. Energy-economy-engineering environment: an E4 representation of the UK energy system. London, UK UK Energy Research Centre.

Supplier strategies and responses to institutional drivers for an emerging energy technology
Strachan, N. and Dowlatabadi, H. 2004. Supplier strategies and responses to institutional drivers for an emerging energy technology. International Journal of Global Energy Issues. 21 (4), pp. 383-396.

Distributed generation and distribution utilities
Strachan, N. and Dowlatabadi, H. 2002. Distributed generation and distribution utilities. Energy Policy. 30 (8), pp. 649-661.

Electricity and conflict: advantages of a distributed system
Zerriffi, H., Dowlatabadi, H. and Strachan, N. 2002. Electricity and conflict: advantages of a distributed system. Electricity Journal. 15 (1), pp. 55-65.

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/92163/emissions-from-distributed-vs-centralized-generation-the-importance-of-system-performance


Share this
Tweet
Email