Coal with Carbon Capture and Sequestration is not as Land Use Efficient as Solar Photovoltaic Technology for Climate Neutral Electricity Production

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Coal with Carbon Capture and Sequestration is not as Land Use Efficient as Solar Photovoltaic Technology for Climate Neutral Electricity Production. / Groesbeck, James Gunnar; Pearce, Joshua M.

In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, No. 1, 13476, 01.12.2018.

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@article{1f546e9e1a6e42ce877d4f48b6717852,
title = "Coal with Carbon Capture and Sequestration is not as Land Use Efficient as Solar Photovoltaic Technology for Climate Neutral Electricity Production",
abstract = "Avoiding climate destabilization caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, requires climate-neutral electricity sources. It has been proposed that the GHG emissions from coal-fired power plants can be offset by carbon capture and sequestration or bio-sequestration. However, solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has recently declined so far in costs it now offers both technical and economic potential to offset all of coal-fired electricity use. PV only emits GHGs during fabrication and not during use. To determine which technical solution to climate-neutral electricity generation should be preferred, this study aggregates and synthesizes life cycle analysis studies for exergy, GHG emissions and land transformation for climate-neutral electricity. The results show that because of lower exergy efficiencies coal plants emit 13–18 times more GHG and transform 5–13 times more land than PV. Optimal bio-sequestration of coal-fired GHG requires 62{\%} of U.S. arable land or 89{\%} of all U.S land with average forest cover. Carbon capture and storage and enhanced oil recovery can improve coal performance, but for all cases the results clearly show that PV is a far more effective use of land. Overall, for the first time this study found climate-neutral photovoltaic farms are a preferred solution to climate-neutral coal fired electricity generation.",
author = "Groesbeck, {James Gunnar} and Pearce, {Joshua M.}",
year = "2018",
month = "12",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1038/s41598-018-31505-3",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
journal = "Scientific Reports",
issn = "2045-2322",
number = "1",

}

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Coal with Carbon Capture and Sequestration is not as Land Use Efficient as Solar Photovoltaic Technology for Climate Neutral Electricity Production

AU - Groesbeck, James Gunnar

AU - Pearce, Joshua M.

PY - 2018/12/1

Y1 - 2018/12/1

N2 - Avoiding climate destabilization caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, requires climate-neutral electricity sources. It has been proposed that the GHG emissions from coal-fired power plants can be offset by carbon capture and sequestration or bio-sequestration. However, solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has recently declined so far in costs it now offers both technical and economic potential to offset all of coal-fired electricity use. PV only emits GHGs during fabrication and not during use. To determine which technical solution to climate-neutral electricity generation should be preferred, this study aggregates and synthesizes life cycle analysis studies for exergy, GHG emissions and land transformation for climate-neutral electricity. The results show that because of lower exergy efficiencies coal plants emit 13–18 times more GHG and transform 5–13 times more land than PV. Optimal bio-sequestration of coal-fired GHG requires 62% of U.S. arable land or 89% of all U.S land with average forest cover. Carbon capture and storage and enhanced oil recovery can improve coal performance, but for all cases the results clearly show that PV is a far more effective use of land. Overall, for the first time this study found climate-neutral photovoltaic farms are a preferred solution to climate-neutral coal fired electricity generation.

AB - Avoiding climate destabilization caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, requires climate-neutral electricity sources. It has been proposed that the GHG emissions from coal-fired power plants can be offset by carbon capture and sequestration or bio-sequestration. However, solar photovoltaic (PV) technology has recently declined so far in costs it now offers both technical and economic potential to offset all of coal-fired electricity use. PV only emits GHGs during fabrication and not during use. To determine which technical solution to climate-neutral electricity generation should be preferred, this study aggregates and synthesizes life cycle analysis studies for exergy, GHG emissions and land transformation for climate-neutral electricity. The results show that because of lower exergy efficiencies coal plants emit 13–18 times more GHG and transform 5–13 times more land than PV. Optimal bio-sequestration of coal-fired GHG requires 62% of U.S. arable land or 89% of all U.S land with average forest cover. Carbon capture and storage and enhanced oil recovery can improve coal performance, but for all cases the results clearly show that PV is a far more effective use of land. Overall, for the first time this study found climate-neutral photovoltaic farms are a preferred solution to climate-neutral coal fired electricity generation.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85053006234&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1038/s41598-018-31505-3

DO - 10.1038/s41598-018-31505-3

M3 - Article

VL - 8

JO - Scientific Reports

JF - Scientific Reports

SN - 2045-2322

IS - 1

M1 - 13476

ER -

ID: 28009090