Identifying Coal-Fired Power Plants for Early Retirement
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 2020
56 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 2, 2020
To ensure climate stability, the decarbonization of the global economy is necessary. Coal-fired power generation is both the most carbon-intensive form of electricity supply and associated with adverse health effects. Thus, retiring coal-fired power plants is essential for achieving the goals of the Paris agreement on climate change. Here we introduce a retirement index that ranks coal-fired power plants based on their age, carbon emissions, and potential for air pollution. Based on the index, the top plants identified for retirement are located in China, India and South Korea. This contrasts with the general approach in the current policy discourse, where older plants in developed countries are prioritized rather than younger plants in developing countries. China and India remain consistently the top countries with most capacity in need of retirement across several sensitivity checks.
Keywords: Coal Energy, Plant Retirement, Air Pollution, Climate Change, HYSPLIT model
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