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MESSAGE covers a large number of electricity generation options utilizing a wide range of primary energy sources. For fossil-based electricity generation technologies, typically a number of different technologies with different efficiencies, environmental characteristics and costs is represented. For example, in the case of coal, MESSAGE distinguishes subcritical and supercritical pulverized coal (PC) power plants where the subcritical variant is available with and without flue gas desulpherization/denox and one internal gasification combined cycle (IGCC) power plant. The superciritical PC and IGCC plants are also available with carbon capture and storage (CCS) which also can be retrofitted to some of the existing PC power plants. Table 1 below shows the different power plant types represented in MESSAGE.

Four different nuclear power plant types are represented in MESSAGE, i.e. two light water reactor types, a fast breeder reactor and a high temperature reactor, but only the two light water types are included in the majority of scenarios being developed with MESSAGE in the recent past. In addition, MESSAGE includes a representation of the nuclear fuel cycle, including reprocessing and the plutonium fuel cycle, and keeps track of the amounts of nuclear waste being produced.

The conversion of five renewable energy sources to electricity is represented in MESSAGE (see Table 3.1). For wind power, both on- and offshore electricity generation are covered and for solar energy, photovoltaics (PV) and solar thermal (concentrating solar power, CSP) electricity generation are included in MESSAGE (see also sections on renewable resources and systems integration).

Table 3.1: List of electricity generation technologies represented in MESSAGE by energy source.

Energy source

Technology

CHP option

coal

subcritical PC power plant without desulphurization/denox
subcritical PC power plant with desulphurization/denox
supercritical PC power plant with desulphurization/denox
supercritical PC power plant with desulphurization/denox and CCS
IGCC power plant
IGCC power plant with CCS

yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes

oil

heavy fuel oil steam power plant
light fuel oil steam power plant
light fuel oil combined cycle power plant

yes
yes
yes

gas

gas steam power plant
gas combustion turbine
gas combined cycle power plant

yes
yes
yes

nuclear

nuclear light water reactor (Gen II)
nuclear light water reactor (Gen III+)
fast breeder reactor
high temperature reactor

yes
yes

biomass

biomass steam power plant
biomass IGCC power plant
biomass IGCC power plant with CCS

yes
yes
yes

hydro

hydro power plant (2 cost categories)

no

wind

onshore wind turbine
offshore wind turbine

no
no

solar

solar photovoltaics (PV)
concentrating solar power (CSP)

no

geothermal

geothermal power plant

yes

Most thermal power plants offer the option of coupled heat production (CHP, see Table 3.1). This option is modeled as a passout turbine via a penalty on the electricity generation efficiency. In addition to the main electricity generation technologies described in this section, also the co-generation of electricity in conversion technologies primarily devoted to producing non-electric energy carriers (e.g., synthetic liquid fuels) is included in MESSAGE (see section on other conversion).

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