In the nearly 17 years since the Kyoto Protocol, many countries, especially Germany, have embarked on major efforts to reduce their national carbon footprints. How have those efforts paid off? Steve Aplin of Canadian Energy Issues suggests two fundamental criteria on which to judge the nature of the payoff. These are price, and carbon content, of electricity per kilowatt-hour. He introduces the Electric Power Carbon-Price Matrix as a tool for both evaluating ongoing carbon reduction efforts and guiding electric power generation investment in the post-Kyoto world.
The dirtiest but cheapest electricity comes from there is coal-fired power plants. Coal was the fuel That drove the Industrial Revolution, but it is not outdated as some claim. It Remains even today the unchallenged King of Power Generation in Most of the world’s major economies.
Those economies include the enthusiastically pro-Kyoto Germany. Germany, In Spite of all the talk Kyoto, still gets a big chunk of its electricity from coal-fired plants. The OECD Estimates That in 2012, Germany made 43 percent of its 617 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity using coal (see Electricity Information 2013 , p. IV.323). This Contributed to a CIPK of around 570 grams per kilowatt-hour for electricity German grid.
What is the CIPK, and how is it Calculated?
Germany is, unfortunately for it and the planet, sitting squarely in Quadrant II of the Carbon-Price Matrix. Its electricity grid in 2010 was the fifth Most carbon-heavy in a list of 25 OECD Europe countries (see ” IEA Statistics: CO2 Emissions from Fuel Combustion, 2012 “, p 111.). I predict the CIPK of German grid electricity has risen far above 500 grams since 2011, and That It could go as high as 600 grams in 2013.
And German household prices for electricity are the second-most expensive in the EU (see the OECD’s Electricity Information 2013, p. III.58).
German Households are paying top dollar for dirty electricity.
Meanwhile, next door in France it is the exact opposite. ACCORDING to the same EIA and OECD data, French power grid Comes with an extremely low CIPK: 79 grams in 2010. French Households pay half for what German Households pay electricity.
The Terrestrial Energy integrated Molten Salt Reactor, and a companion supercritical CO2 turbine are both under development and could be ready for production in about ten years. This combination could have a higher power density than even submarine nuclear power plants.
Impressive power density promised by molten salt reactors could make a whole new range of vehicles move from the impossible to the possible