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MINIMISING YOUR POWER PLANT'S ENVIROMENTAL FOOT PRINT / 18 Jul 2019

Minimising Your Power Plant's Enviromental Foot Print

Five methods to optimise environmental performance of combined cycle power plants.

Combined Cycle Power Plants (CCPP) have been long regarded as one of the “cleanest” forms of thermal power generation due to the use of natural gas and higher efficiency resulting in less harmful emissions including emitting lower quantities of Carbon Dioxide (CO2)1. In recent years, however, and particularly following the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change in 20162, there has been mounting pressure on developers to improve the environmental performance of CCPP projects even further. International lenders are also under increasing pressure when financing CCPP projects due to their potential environmental impacts, notably CO2 emissions which often down to the developers to improve the project’s overall environmental performance.

Thermal power plants are coming under increasing pressure to operate at their optimal environmental performance, particularly for GHG emissions to be reduced. This need has been further emphasised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report which highlights the need to limit global temperatures raise to 1.5oC6. CCPPs are regarded as the best available technology to increase the energy efficiency of natural gas consumption and this increase in efficiency will automatically provide improvements in environmental performance including reduced GHG emissions in comparison with other fossil fuel technologies. However, as CCPPs are still a source of GHG emissions, they are under scrutiny to demonstrate optimal environmental performance. This environmental performance can be achieved by the implementation of best available techniques and E&S procedures such as those presented in this article and these measures would preferably be considered within the projects development phase.

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Contact information

Mark Wilson
Senior Environment Consultant, Thermal Power