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Title: Evaluating the CO 2 emissions reduction potential and cost of power sector re-dispatch

Abstract

Prior studies of the U.S. electricity sector have recognized the potential to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by substituting generation from coal-fired units with generation from under-utilized and lower-emitting natural gas-fired units; in fact, this type of 're-dispatch' was invoked as one of the three building blocks used to set the emissions targets under the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. Despite the existence of surplus natural gas capacity in the U.S., power system operational constraints not often considered in power sector policy analyses, such as transmission congestion, generator ramping constraints, minimum generation constraints, planned and unplanned generator outages, and ancillary service requirements, could limit the potential and increase the cost of coal-to-gas re-dispatch. Using a highly detailed power system unit commitment and dispatch model, we estimate the maximum potential for re-dispatch in the Eastern Interconnection, which accounts for the majority of coal capacity and generation in the U.S. Under our reference assumptions, we find that maximizing coal-to-gas re-dispatch yields emissions reductions of 230 million metric tons (Mt), or 13% of power sector emissions in the Eastern Interconnection, with a corresponding average abatement cost of $15-$44 per metric ton of CO2, depending on the assumed supply elasticity of natural gas.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis
OSTI Identifier:
1423547
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-6A20-65936
Journal ID: ISSN 0301-4215
DOE Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Energy Policy; Journal Volume: 112; Journal Issue: C
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; natural gas; climate change mitigation; energy modeling; electricity

Citation Formats

Steinberg, Daniel C., Bielen, David A., and Townsend, Aaron. Evaluating the CO 2 emissions reduction potential and cost of power sector re-dispatch. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2017.10.003.
Steinberg, Daniel C., Bielen, David A., & Townsend, Aaron. Evaluating the CO 2 emissions reduction potential and cost of power sector re-dispatch. United States. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2017.10.003.
Steinberg, Daniel C., Bielen, David A., and Townsend, Aaron. Mon . "Evaluating the CO 2 emissions reduction potential and cost of power sector re-dispatch". United States. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2017.10.003.
@article{osti_1423547,
title = {Evaluating the CO 2 emissions reduction potential and cost of power sector re-dispatch},
author = {Steinberg, Daniel C. and Bielen, David A. and Townsend, Aaron},
abstractNote = {Prior studies of the U.S. electricity sector have recognized the potential to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by substituting generation from coal-fired units with generation from under-utilized and lower-emitting natural gas-fired units; in fact, this type of 're-dispatch' was invoked as one of the three building blocks used to set the emissions targets under the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. Despite the existence of surplus natural gas capacity in the U.S., power system operational constraints not often considered in power sector policy analyses, such as transmission congestion, generator ramping constraints, minimum generation constraints, planned and unplanned generator outages, and ancillary service requirements, could limit the potential and increase the cost of coal-to-gas re-dispatch. Using a highly detailed power system unit commitment and dispatch model, we estimate the maximum potential for re-dispatch in the Eastern Interconnection, which accounts for the majority of coal capacity and generation in the U.S. Under our reference assumptions, we find that maximizing coal-to-gas re-dispatch yields emissions reductions of 230 million metric tons (Mt), or 13% of power sector emissions in the Eastern Interconnection, with a corresponding average abatement cost of $15-$44 per metric ton of CO2, depending on the assumed supply elasticity of natural gas.},
doi = {10.1016/j.enpol.2017.10.003},
journal = {Energy Policy},
number = C,
volume = 112,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2018},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2018}
}