Development of Integrated Model for Assessment of Water and GHG Footprints for Power Generation Sector

  • Author / Creator
    Agrawal, Nikhil
  • Freshwater is a critical natural resource and is used in energy production, conversion and utilization. To ensure that the use of water today does not adversely affect the prospects for its use by future generations, there is a need to understand long term water demand and supply through energy production, conversion and utilization. This research presents the methodology for development of integrated water energy model for Alberta’s power sector and simulates business-as-usual and alternative scenarios. This model also estimates long term impacts of alternative policies in Alberta’s power sector on water demand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. A bottom up demand tree for Alberta’s power sector is developed using the Water Evaluation And Planning (WEAP) model for estimation of water demand and supply. Similarly, the demand tree is developed in the long-range energy alternative planning systems model (LEAP) model to understand GHG emissions footprint of the electricity generation in power sector under different technology implementation scenarios. This demand tree is further used to develop a scenario analysis. Based on expected growth in the power sector, a business-as-usual (BAU) scenario is developed for the years 2015 – 2050 to project water demand and GHG emissions of Alberta’s power plants. Nine GHG mitigation scenarios and four water conservation scenarios are developed for Alberta’s power sector, and water and emissions reductions are estimated with respect to the BAU scenario. The scenarios are also analyzed in terms of the cost-benefit aspects by developing two types of cost curves, i.e. water-carbon cost curves and water conservation cost curves. The water-carbon cost curves compare the scenarios in terms of net GHG mitigation achievable in each scenario, GHG abatement cost ($/tonne of CO2 equivalent mitigation) and water demand compared to the BAU case. The water conservation cost curves compare the scenarios in terms of net water savings achievable in each scenario and water savings cost ($/m3 of water saved) compared to BAU scenario. In Alberta’s power sector, for BAU scenario, GHG emissions and water demand decrease by around 44% and 34%, respectively, in 2030 due to the retirement of all the coal power plants by 2030. The overall increase in GHG emissions and water demand from 2030 to 2050 is 16% and 19.5%, respectively. Nine GHG mitigation scenarios were evaluated with the aim of mitigating carbon emissions and four scenarios were evaluated with the aim of reducing water demand. These scenarios were developed for planning horizons of 2010-2030 and 2010-2050. From the results of the integrated GHG mitigation scenarios, it can be deduced that for power sector, although the implementation of climate change scenarios will result in reduced GHG emissions but will increase the water demand. Out of all the technologies, in the long run, dry cooling technology will save the most water (15.6 million m3 by 2030 for a cost of $7.8/m3 and 157.8 million m3 by 2050 for a cost of around $4/m3). These different scenario outcomes can help to create awareness among the policy makers in understanding the water-energy nexus in a quantifiable way and to formulate policies towards sustainable development.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2017
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
  • Specialization
    • Engineering Management
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Sadrzadeh, Mohtada (Mechanical Engineering)
    • Davies, Evan (Civil and Environmental Engineering)
    • Kumar, Amit (Mechanical Engineering)