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Spanish CNE says sluggish economy will cut emissions

23 Apr 2012 18:05:10 | edcm

Carbon emissions from Spain's electricity sector are expected to remain almost flat until 2014, before dropping in 2015, energy regulator CNE has said in a report, because of the poor economic outlook.

The forecast is part of a broader report regarding the power and gas sectors, published this month.

Power-generation emissions jumped by 25% year on year in 2011 in Spain to 73m tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e), on the back of the increase in the use of coal, thanks to a government initiative supporting domestic product, figures from electricity transmission system operator REE show (see sister publication EDEM 4 January 2012).

CNE said that emissions from the so-called ordinary regime plants - including combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT), coal-fired, hydroelectric and oil-fired facilities - are forecast to stand at 39m tCO2e in 2015, down 30% from 56m tCO2e in 2010. According to REE, total power sector emissions in 2010 stood at 58.7m tCO2e.

It should be pointed out, however, that the CNE 2010 figure of 56m tCO2e includes coal-fired, gas-fired and island generation, with the last-named accounting for 11m tCO2e, but the 2015 forecast excludes island generation.

The 2011-2015 forecast takes into account REE forecast generation for that period, and also considers the impact of the law subsidising the Spanish domestic coal industry.

"The decline in emissions is not due to the change in generation technology ... but is mainly because of the current economic situation and the future forecast," the report said.

The report highlights that the greener CCGT generation technology suffered a setback compared with previous forecasts, in favour of other more polluting technologies, such as coal-fired generation. Plants fuelled by national or imported coal are expected to emit 24m tCO2e in 2015, up from 21m tCO2e in 2010, while CCGT plants are forecast to emit 16m tCO2e, down from 23m tCO2e.

However, the report states that it expects a decline in coal-fired generation in 2015, as the coal-supporting decree will end. SM

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