Sweden's 100 percent carbon-free emissions challenge

June 21, 2016

The Swedish power supply is largely free of carbon emissions. Indeed, it is mainly based on a combination of hydroelectric and nuclear power combined with power exchange with neighbouring Scandinavian countries. A study published in EPJ Plus investigates the possibility of replacing nuclear power with wind power, which is by nature intermittent. According to the study, this, in turn, would finally lead to a reduction in the use of hydroelectricity if the annual consumption remained constant. The authors of the study conclude that a backup system, based on fossil fuel, namely gas, would be required in combination with wind power. In such a scenario, the CO2 emissions would double. Fritz Wagner from the Max Planck Institute for Plasmaphysics, Greifswald, Germany, and Elisabeth Rachlew from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, therefore conclude that it would not be a viable option.

The study is based on data from 2013 pertaining to the load and the various power supply sources in Sweden. To represent constantly available wind power, the original 2013 data has been corrected for the increase in wind power during the year. The authors investigate the extent to which the required capacity of the installed wind power together with hydroelectricity reduce the nuclear share of their overall power generation. They also look into whether a backup system is necessary and at what power capacity.

Going a step further, they also examine the dynamics of its operation to determine the type of system required for back-up. In addition, they analyse the amount of surplus produced when the wind contribution is in excess of the reduced load, and whether the surplus energy can be stored to supplement the back-up power supply. Finally, they look at whether the operational conditions for hydroelectricity are acceptable. They conclude that this scenario would double the specific CO2 emissions, which would not make sense.

F. Wagner and E. Rachlew (2016), Study on a hypothetical replacement of nuclear electricity by wind power in Sweden, European Physical Journal Plus 131:173 (2016), DOI 10.1140/epjp/i2016-16173-8


Related Carbon Emissions Articles from Brightsurf:

Dietary changes could produce big offsets to carbon emissions
Eating less meat and dairy products in favor of plant-based proteins like those found in grains, legumes and nuts could make a huge difference in how much carbon dioxide reaches the atmosphere.

Carbon-loving materials designed to reduce industrial emissions
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, are advancing gas membrane materials to expand practical technology options for reducing industrial carbon emissions.

Ocean uptake of CO2 could drop as carbon emissions are cut
The ocean is so sensitive to declining greenhouse gas emissions that it immediately responds by taking up less carbon dioxide, says a new study.

Tracking fossil fuel emissions with carbon-14
Researchers from NOAA and the University of Colorado have devised a breakthrough method for estimating national emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels using ambient air samples and a well-known isotope of carbon that scientists have relied on for decades to date archaeological sites.

COVID-19 crisis causes 17% drop in global carbon emissions
The COVID-19 global lockdown has had an 'extreme' effect on daily carbon emissions, but it is unlikely to last -- according to a new analysis by an international team of scientists.

Don't look to mature forests to soak up carbon dioxide emissions
Research published today in Nature suggests mature forests are limited in their ability to absorb 'extra' carbon as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations increase.

Global supply chains as a way to curb carbon emissions
The coronavirus outbreak raised everyone's awareness of the significance of global supply chains to modern economies.

Scrubbing carbon dioxide from smokestacks for cleaner industrial emissions
An international collaboration co-led by an Oregon State University chemistry researcher has uncovered a better way to scrub carbon dioxide from smokestack emissions, which could be a key to mitigating global climate change.

Global carbon emissions increase but rate has slowed
Global carbon emissions are set to grow more slowly in 2019, with a decline in coal burning offset by strong growth in natural gas and oil use worldwide -- according to new research.

Co-combustion of wood and oil-shale reduces carbon emissions
Utilization of fossil fuels, which represents an increasing environmental risk, can be made more environmentally friendly by adding wood -- as concluded based on the preliminary results of the year-long study carried out by thermal engineers of Tallinn University of Technology.

Read More: Carbon Emissions News and Carbon Emissions Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.