Problem statement: In recent years, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and their potential effects on global climate change have been a worldwide concern. According to International Energy Agency (IEA), power generation contributes more than half of the global GHG emissions. Approach: Purpose of this study is to examine GHG emission reduction potentials in the Canadian electricity generation sector through fuel switching and adoption of advanced power generation systems. To achieve this objective, eight different scenarios were introduced. In the first scenario, existing power stations’ fuel was switched to natural gas. Existing power plants were replaced by Natural Gas Combined Cycle (NGCC), Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC), Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC), hybrid SOFC and SOFC-IGCC hybrid power stations in scenario numbers 2 to 6, respectively. In last two scenarios, CO2 capture systems were installed in the existing power plants and in the second scenario, respectively. Results: The results showed that Canada’s GHG emissions can be reduced by 33, 59, 20, 64, 69, 29, 86 and 94% based on the first to eighth scenarios, respectively. On the other hand, the second scenario is the most practical and its technology has already matured and is available. In this scenario by replacing existing power plants by NGCC power plants, Canada can fulfill more than 25% of its 238,000 kt year-1 commitment of GHG emission reduction to the Kyoto Protocol. In addition, the GHG emission reduction potentials for each province and Canada as a whole were presented and compared. Based on the results, Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan are the biggest producers of GHG in Canada by emitting 49, 21 and 14% of Canada’s GHG emissions, respectively. Therefore, they have higher potential to reduce GHG emissions. The comparison of the results for different provinces revealed that based on efficiency of electricity generation and consumed fuel distribution; specific scenario(s) tend to be suitable for each province. Conclusion: The results pointed out that despite of acceptable performance of some provinces, there are still great potentials to reduce GHG emission level in Canada. In addition, the economical analysis showed that some scenarios are economically competitive with current technologies and should be considered when a new power station is to be built.


  • Global climate deterioration is a global concern that is caused by high level of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere (IPCC, 2007)

  • Scenario is the most practical one and its technology has already matured and is available. This scenario can reduce GHG emissions by almost 60%. This means that just by replacing existing thermal power plants by Natural Gas Combined Cycle (NGCC) plants Canada can fulfill more than 25% of its 238 Mt year−1 commitment of GHG emission reduction to Kyoto Protocol (Environment Canada, 2005) (Fig. 2)

  • The GHG emission reduction potentials were investigated under eight introduced scenarios

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Global climate deterioration is a global concern that is caused by high level of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere (IPCC, 2007). To address this challenge, in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro and 1997 in Kyoto, there were two major United Nations conferences to reduce GHG emissions in the world. Protocol is an agreement to reduce GHG emissions of certain countries (Annex I Parties) to specified levels below their 1990 emission levels by available options This target level for Canada is to reduce GHG emissions to 6% below 1990 level by the period between 2008 and 2012 (UNFCCC, 1998). The protocol became formally binding on February 16, 2005 and as of August 26, 2009, 188 countries as well as European Union accepted the protocol, covering about 64% of the emissions addressed by the Protocol (UNFCCC, 2009)


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