Future fossil fuel electricity generation in Europe
Options and consequences
This study investigates the development of the fossil fuel fired power generation sector in Europe up to 2030 and identifies the critical factors that influence its evolution. Through the application of the least-cost expansion planning method, the technology and fuel mix of fossil fuel power plant portfolios emerging from twenty-four techno-economic scenarios are described. The different scenarios present alternative views for the rote of non-fossil fuel (nuclear and renewable) power generation, the development of the world fuel and carbon markets and the carbon capture power generating... technologies. The study estimates the needs for new fossil fuel capacity and identifies the optimal power plant mix for all possible combinations of the cases mentioned above. The impacts of the resulting portfolios on the objectives of the European energy policy are assessed using as indicators the capital investment for the construction of the required capacity, the fuel consumption, the composition of the fuel mix, the CO2 emission levels, and the average production cost of electricity from the fossil fuelled fleet. The report finds that high CO2 prices need to be maintained and carbon capture technology must be developed and become commercialised. If these conditions are met and medium or high fossil fuel prices prevail, the portfolio of fossil fuel power plants that will be deployed will be compatible with the European goal for the development of a more sustainable and secure energy system. The key conclusion is that for a sustainable and secure energy system we need to invest, both in the increase of non-fossil fuel power generation and to ensure that carbon capture and storage technologies are ready to be deployed when needed.