It is necessary to analyze the environmental impact of the entire process of coal-fired power generation to take effective measures for controlling energy consumption and reducing pollutant emission. However, very few studies have examined the coal mining, washing and transportation stages in the life cycle of coal-fired power generation and it's environmental cost. In this study, the life cycle assessment (LCA) method was adopted to analyze the environmental impact of coal-fired power generation in China. Further, the relevant cost theory was used to calculate the resource consumption cost and external environmental cost of coal-fired power generation. The key environmental impact category was smoke and dust, and the main emissions were CO2, CO, SO2, TSP, COD, and boiler ash. The emissions with high environmental cost were coal, SO2, COD, and boiler ash. The environmental cost at the power generation stage was the highest, with a value of $50.24. The resource consumption cost and external environmental cost per unit of MWh power in the life cycle was $46.01 and $22.90, respectively. Upgrading the facilities for emission reduction, improving emission standards of pollutants, and strengthening process management of coal-fired power generation are effective ways to reduce the burden on the environment.
Energy Policy – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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