Reference Power Plant North Rhine-Westphalia

Project Number 237

The increasing internationalisation of the power industry and the striving for a continually closer European power generation single market will permit the long-term preservation of the German power generation location only if German power can be produced internationally competitively and environmentally friendly. Therefore, new technologies for fossil-fired power plants have to be developed further as well as concepts and techniques for the reduction of environmental effects of fossil-fired power plants, which enable a competitive power generation by means of fossil-fired power stations even if climate protection requirements will be tightened up further.

Quantitatively, hard coal is the most important primary energy source with the largest reserves world-wide. The installed capacity of coal-fired power plants of about 1000 GW world-wide has an average efficiency of about 30 %. So far, the present state of the art at German sites is that conventional hard-coal power plants have an efficiency of up to 43 %. An efficiency of up to 47 % is realisable. A reference power plant has not been built, yet.

For the construction of such power plants it is necessary to reduce investment cost and to point out an economic optimum between investment cost and efficiency. If this would be successful, CO2 emissions from coal-fired power stations could be effectively lowered by the application of these technologies.

In the framework of this joint research project, a concept study for a hard coal reference power plant in NRW (Ruhr area) with an efficiency of up to 47 % will be worked out in respect to optimise the economic and ecological aspects mentioned above. This concept study is an important milestone for a safe, environmentally friendly and economically justifiable power supply for Germany and Europe.

The substantial contents of the concept study are as follows:

  • The development of an optimised general concept of a steam power plant on the basis of predetermined boundary conditions.
  • The investigation of innovations with the goal to increase efficiency and to reduce investment cost. Thereby, technical, economic and environmental aspects (discharge of CO2 balance, consequences of CO2 penalties) will be taken into account.
  • The evaluation of relevant political and industrial aspects (jobs, conservation of know-how).
  • The determination of total economic efficiency.
  • A view on the capability of export of such optimised steam power plants.

Project partners of this joint research project are manufacturers, operators and scientific institutes situated in NRW with VGB PowerTech as co-ordinator. Babcock Borsing Power Systems GmbH provides the technical concept study for the steam generator variants including firing concepts as well as flue gas cleaning and flue gas passes. Siemens AG/ Power Generation provides the technical concept study for the turbine hall with optimised steam turbine, technique of entire plant, I&C technique as well as for the planning of the construction and the entire plant. On the basis of operational experience, the operators involved (E.ON Kraftwerke GmbH, Mark-E AG, RWE Power AG and STEAG AG) provide the necessary framework information. The following scientific institutes are responsible for the examination of economic framework data (University Essen, chair of energy industry), aspects of industry politics (Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsförderung e.V., Essen) and environmental aspects (Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt und Energie). A unified report shall be worked out with the collaboration of VGB.

The project is to be carried out from October 1, 2002 by September 30, 2003. The project is funded at 40% in the framework of the initiative of state "Future energies North-Rhine Westphalia" from the programme "rational use of energy and utilisation of inexhaustible energy sources". The industrial own resources are backed by the manufacturers and the operators as well as by VGB.