Thursday, 22 September 2016

Rise in Ireland's Electricity Generation CO2 Emissions

SEAI have published the latest details on CO2 emissions in Ireland. Electricity generation emissions have risen in 2015 because of a rise in coal consumed in Moneypoint.

The graph is slightly misleading for a couple of reasons. It uses a simplified modelling system that doesn't take full account of increased cycling and ramping from back up generators. Hence the disclaimer on Page 26 :

There are clear limitations in this analysis but it does provide useful indicative results. 

The cycling effects are certainly not small as stated on Page 21 - see here for an analysis

In reality, the cycling effects increase as more wind is added so the CO2 per kWh of electricity may be fairly accurate back in say 2010 but starts getting progressively worse by 2015. 

The other problem is that by the end of 2012, the East West Interconnector was up and running sending Co2 free power to Ireland throughout 2013 and after that. This is because emissions are counted in the country of origin, in this case the UK. No account seems to be taken in the graph above of this. There is no Imports (avoided) in the legend.

Lastly, as stated recently on this blog, use of diesel generators is becoming more common with increased intermittent wind power, and is now at about 230MW capacity. I can't find any reference to them in the SEAI paper so presumably they are not included. 

1 comment:

  1. To say that wind farms make a contribution towards saving co2 or dependence on fossil fuel is like saying that a car driven 100 miles on a perfectly flat road will give a better MPG (more fuel efficient) if it is driven 100 miles through a mountainous country. For 30% of the time that car will be going down hill allowing lower torque on the engine. (little fuel needed) Being able to understand complicated systems should make the few who can manage it get richer than the multitude who can't. With wind energy its the reverse. The multitude can vote for politicians who force themselves to pay for a useless addition to their bills. The clever part of wind energy is fooling so many. Val Matin forced to post as anonymous.