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Trend in efficiency and capacity of fossil power generation in the EU


  • Graus, Wina
  • Worrell, Ernst


The purpose of this study is to determine past and future energy efficiency of fossil power generation in EU-27. It is found that the average efficiency for gas-fired power generation increased sharply from 34% in 1990 to 50% in 2005 and is expected to increase to 54% by 2015 (based on lower heating value). For coal-fired power generation the efficiency increased from 34% in 1990 to 38% in 2005 and is expected to increase to 40% by 2015 (LHV). The improvements are largely determined by the introduction of new generating capacity. The amount of natural gas-based generating capacity has strongly increased in the last 15 years. The share of gas-fired power generation in total fossil power generation in the EU increased from 11% in 1990 to 34% in 2005 and is expected to increase to 46% by 2015. The average CO2-intensity for fossil-fired power generation in the EU decreased from 920Â g CO2/kWh in 1990 to 720Â g/kWh in 2005, mainly due to a shift from coal to natural gas. For the period 2005-2015 another decrease is expected from 720 to 630Â g/kWh. Total greenhouse gas emissions from fossil power generation are however expected to increase by 10% in 2020.

Suggested Citation

  • Graus, Wina & Worrell, Ernst, 2009. "Trend in efficiency and capacity of fossil power generation in the EU," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 2147-2160, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:37:y:2009:i:6:p:2147-2160

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    13. Nemet, Gregory F., 2010. "Robust incentives and the design of a climate change governance regime," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 7216-7225, November.
    14. Zhou, P. & Ang, B.W. & Wang, H., 2012. "Energy and CO2 emission performance in electricity generation: A non-radial directional distance function approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 221(3), pages 625-635.
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    17. Olivia Cintas & Göran Berndes & Annette L. Cowie & Gustaf Egnell & Hampus Holmström & Göran I. Ågren, 2016. "The climate effect of increased forest bioenergy use in Sweden: evaluation at different spatial and temporal scales," Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Energy and Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(3), pages 351-369, May.
    18. Jaraitė, Jūratė & Kažukauskas, Andrius, 2013. "The profitability of electricity generating firms and policies promoting renewable energy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 858-865.
    19. Egging, Ruud, 2013. "Drivers, trends, and uncertainty in long-term price projections for energy management in public buildings," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 617-624.
    20. Touš, Michal & Pavlas, Martin & Stehlík, Petr & Popela, Pavel, 2011. "Effective biomass integration into existing combustion plant," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 36(8), pages 4654-4662.
    21. Rootzén, Johan & Johnsson, Filip, 2013. "Exploring the limits for CO2 emission abatement in the EU power and industry sectors—Awaiting a breakthrough," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 443-458.
    22. Bigerna, Simona & D'Errico, Maria Chiara & Polinori, Paolo, 2020. "Heterogeneous impacts of regulatory policy stringency on the EU electricity Industry:A Bayesian shrinkage dynamic analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 142(C).
    23. Wang, Yongpei & Yan, Weilong & Komonpipat, Supak, 2019. "How does the capacity utilization of thermal power generation affect pollutant emissions? Evidence from the panel data of China's provinces," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 440-451.


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