Research Article Open Access

Fuel and Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Potentials by Appropriate Fuel Switching and Technology Improvement in the Canadian Electricity Generation Sector

Farshid Zabihian1 and Alan S. Fung1
  • 1 Ryerson University, Canada


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.

American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Volume 3 No. 1, 2010, 90-97


Submitted On: 13 October 2009 Published On: 31 March 2010

How to Cite: Zabihian, F. & Fung, A. S. (2010). Fuel and Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Potentials by Appropriate Fuel Switching and Technology Improvement in the Canadian Electricity Generation Sector. American Journal of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 3(1), 90-97.

  • 1 Citations



  • Greenhouse gases
  • GHG
  • reduction potentials
  • electricity generation
  • Canada