Contribution Of Fossil Fuels To Co2 Emissions

Based on the energy scenario forecast to the end of the 21st century the probable and necessary demand of fossil fuels can be calculated (BP, 2005; WEC, 1995; Skov, 2003; ExxonMobil, 2004; Shell, 2001; US-DOE, 2005). The absolute and relative contribution of coal, oil and gas to energy production, per decade, are shown in Figs 5 and 6. The data in these diagrams suggest that the global role of fossil fuels, in contrast to various information in the world media, will increase until the middle of the century and then decrease monotonously until 2100.

The stacked columns in Fig. 5, however, indicate that utilization of these energy-bearing materials will represent at least 60-70% of the present amount. Analyzing the structure of the forecasted demand it is predicted that the relative contribution of coal and gas will reach a maximum (and oil a minimum) in the forties and fifties, while their share will stabilize through the last decades at 40-40% (coal and oil) and 20% (gas) (Fig. 6).

Technological improvements in the energy sector had already started well before the Kyoto accord. Significant efforts have been made to increase the efficiency of power stations and to decrease their air pollution. As far as the utilization of fossil fuels is concerned oil, and later natural gas, have replaced enormous amounts of coal. Thus, the extensive use of oil and gas, as a side effect, has also resulted in a substantial reduction in CO2 emissions, since the average CO2 emission depends fundamentally on the type of fuel used, be it coal (225 kg/MWh), oil (190 kg/MWh) or gas (128 kg/MWh).

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Figure 5. Absolute contribution of fossil fuels to energy production (2000-2100).

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Figure 5. Absolute contribution of fossil fuels to energy production (2000-2100).

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Figure 6. Relative contribution of fossil fuels to energy production (2000-2100).

Thus the hydrocarbons became attractive not only technologically, but also from an environmental point of view. Using these data and the anticipated use of fossil fuels in the future, predicted CO2 emission rates can

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be calculated. The breakdown and summarized values of relative emissions are shown in Figs 7 and 8. As shown in Fig. 7 the CO2 emissions from the use of oil and other liquid hydrocarbons will gradually decrease by about 50% until 2050, after which it will remain constant. A more extensive use of natural gas and coal, however, will unfavourably influence the CO2 content of the atmosphere. A decreasing trend in CO2 emissions can be expected only in the second half of the century (Fig. 8). This fact contradicts expectations of many environmental and "green" organizations that are looking forward to a substantial reduction of CO2 emissions in the near future.

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Figure 7. Relative CO2 emissions of fossil fuels used for energy production (2000-2100).

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Figure 8. Summarized relative CO2 emissions from fossil fuels used for energy production

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Figure 8. Summarized relative CO2 emissions from fossil fuels used for energy production

Guide to Alternative Fuels

Guide to Alternative Fuels

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