International comparison of fossil power efficiency and CO2 intensity

Published: 01/09/2010

The purpose of this study is to compare the energy efficiency and CO2-intensity of fossil-fired power generation for fourteen countries, including China, India, and United States. This is done by calculating separate benchmark indicators for the energy efficiency of gas-, oil- and coal-fired power generation. These indicators are aggregated to an overall benchmark for fossil-fired power generation.

The benchmark based on weighted average efficiencies shows that France, Nordic countries, Germany, United Kingdom and Ireland, and Japan perform best in terms of fossil-fired power generating efficiency and are 10%, 10%, 9%, 8% and 8% above average. South Korea and United States are 5% and 3% above average efficiency, respectively. China, Australia and India are 5%, 7% and 9% below average, respectively.

The CO2 intensity for fossil-fired power generation ranges from 484 g/kWh for Italy to 1031 g/kWh for India in 2007. Fossil-fired power generation is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide and is responsible for approximately 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. By implementing best available technologies for fossil power generation these emissions can be reduced by 25%, for all countries included in the study together.