|Working Group III: Mitigation|
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3.8 Energy Supply, Including Non-Renewable and Renewable Resources and Physical
This section reviews the major advances in the area of GHG mitigation options for the electricity and primary energy supply industries that have emerged since IPCC (1996). The global electricity supply sector accounted for almost 2,100MtC/yr or 37.5% of total carbon emissions. Under business-as-usual conditions, annual carbon emissions associated with electricity generation, including combined heat and power production, is projected to surpass the 4,000MtC mark by 2020 (IEA, 1998b). Because a limited number of centralized and large emitters are easier to control than millions of vehicle emitters or small boilers, the electricity sector is likely to become a prime target under any future involving GHG emission controls and mitigation.3.8.2 Summary of the Second Assessment Report
Chapter 19 of the IPCC Second Assessment Report (1996) gave a comprehensive guide to mitigation options in energy supply (Ishitani and Johansson, 1996). The chapter described technological options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in five broad areas:
The chapter also noted that some technological options, such as CCGTs, can penetrate the current market place, whereas others need government support by improving market efficiency, by finding new ways to internalize external costs, by accelerating R&D, and by providing temporary incentives for early market development of new technologies as they approach commercial readiness. The importance of transferring efficient technologies to developing countries, including technologies in the residential and industrial sectors and not just in power generation, was noted.
The Energy Primer of the IPCC Second Assessment Report (Nakicenovic et al., 1996) gave estimates of energy reserves and resources, including the potential for various nuclear and renewable technologies which have since been updated (WEC, 1998b; Goldemberg, 2000; BGR, 1998). A current version of the estimates for fossil fuels and uranium is given in Table 3.28a. The potential for renewable forms of energy is discussed later.
A variety of terms are used in the literature to describe fossil fuel deposits, and different authors and institutions have various meanings for the same terms which also vary for different fossil fuel sources. The World Energy Council defines resources as the occurrences of material in recognisable form (WEC, 1998b). For oil and gas, this is essentially the amount of oil and gas in the ground. Reserves represent a portion of these resources and is the term used by the extraction industry. British Petroleum notes that proven reserves of oil are generally taken to be those quantities that geological and engineering information indicates with reasonable certainty can be recovered in the future from known reservoirs under existing economic and operating conditions (BP, 1999). Resources, therefore, are hydrocarbon deposits that do not meet the criteria of proven reserves, at least not yet. Future advances in the geosciences and upstream technologies as in the past will improve knowledge of and access to resources and, if demand exists, convert these into reserves. Market conditions can either accelerate or even reverse this process.
The difference between conventional and unconventional occurrences (oil shale, tar sands, coalbed methane, clathrates, uranium in black shale or dissolved in sea water) is either the nature of existence (being solid rather than liquid for oil) or the geological location (coal bed methane or clathrates, i.e., frozen ice-like deposits that probably cover a significant portion of the ocean floor). Unconventional deposits require different and more complex production methods and, in the case of oil, need additional upgrading to usable fuels. In essence, unconventional resources are more capital intensive (for development, production, and upgrading) than conventional ones. The prospects for unconventional resources depend on the rate and costs at which these can be converted into quasi-conventional reserves.
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