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Conventional power generation: foresighting report


Conventional Power Generation (CPG) covers power generation from nuclear and fossil fuels, predominantly coal and natural gas. The report highlights the drivers and developments within CPG, which have led ITI Energy to identify certain areas of technology development that may be considered as potential areas for future ITI Energy programmes. The report aims to: provide a summary of the market and technology information gathered and analysed through the foresighting process; communicate the areas of technology that emerged as priorities from the foresighting work; and allow members to comment on the resulting technology priorities and consider particular project proposals or ideas.


The methodology consisted of desk research and direct engagement with more than 45 experts through the Power Generation Sector in the UK and across Europe, through two workshops, visits and other events (such as a PowerGen conference in Milan, June 2005). Over 35 different organisations have been involved, including equipment manufacturers, suppliers, utilities and universities.


The report finds that power demand will continue to rise significantly over the next 25 years and most of this demand will be met by CPG technologies. A potential renaissance of nuclear power generation will require new solutions for inherently safe plants and waste and decommissioning. Many countries are increasingly opting for higher levels of distributed generation (DG) and some of this capacity will be met by CPG technologies. DG technologies need to become more efficient in overall cost and in emission reductions. The core CPG technologies are mature technologies: further technical improvements are likely to be incremental rather than disruptive. A step improvement in technology is required to economically reduce emissions and to provide alternatives to central gas-based generation. The industry is made up of a relatively small group of large manufacturing companies, and a large number of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) supplying into these manufacturers. The risk adverse attitude towards introduction of new technologies in the west is contrasted by a much higher acceptance of risk in China and other eastern countries. The report suggests that the ITI Energy budget available for investment in CPG technologies is limited when compared to other budgets required for some developments or available by other means.


ITI Energy recommends that third parties should pursue specific CPG projects in membranes or alternatives to super alloys, such as coatings and pipelines. The report also suggests that ITI Energy should explore possibilities and seek third party proposals on: combined emissions scrubbing; multi-burner for co-firing; HT pulverised coal materials or components; DG emissions; ramp rate and cycling management to data management; and low cost HT sensors. ITI Energy should only respond to third party proposals on another nineteen identified technologies.

Author ITI Energy
Published Year 2010
Report Type Research
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    Supporting key sectors
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