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We can reduce emissions from gas-fired power plants by 71

Emissions from gas-fired power stations worldwide are worth 3.6 Gt CO2e

Can fossil gas, at the same time, become the transition energy and significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions? A study by McGill University in Montreal says yes. The technologies already available today would have huge potential, calculates the research team in the work published on Nature Communications. The right mix of measures can reduce emissions from gas-fired power plants by up to 71%.

For gas to truly be a bridging fuel, countries involved in the gas power lifecycle must deploy all mitigation options, while balancing the risk of blocking carbon-intensive electricity“, write the authors. They calculated the global impact of emissions from gas-fired power stations, studied the impact of the different abatement methods already available today, and shared responsibility among the States to the extent of their contribution in the field.

-2.5 Gt CO2e emissions from gas-fired power stations

What are the measures to reduce emissions from gas-fired power stations and what impact they have? The most effective is the capture and storage of CO2, which alone is worth more than half of the total: it can reduce greenhouse gases by up to 43%. In second place the technologies for the abatement of methane along the entire chain with 12%. These are the measures on which, so far, there has been more focus at policy level, both in the EU and globally with the Global Methane Pledge launched at COP26 and strengthened in Sharm el-Sheikh this year. Finally, the efficiency of power plants can contribute with an additional -5%.

Read also US$3.7 billion plan for direct air capture CO2

Overall, this range of options would have the potential to reduce emissions from gas-fired power plants worldwide from 3.6 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent (Gt CO2e, 2017 values) to less than 1.1 Gt CO2e. The overall reduction is equivalent to the energy emissions of the whole of Europe in 2021.

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