• Peer-Reviewed
Energy Policy · 2011

Evaluating the role of cogeneration for carbon management in Alberta

G. H. Doluweera, S. M. Jordaan, M. C. Moore, D. W. Keith, and J. A. Bergerson

Developing long-term carbon control strategies is important in energy intensive industries such as the oil sands operations in Alberta. We examine the use of cogeneration to satisfy the energy demands of oil sands operations in Alberta in the context of carbon management. This paper evaluates the role of cogeneration in meeting Provincial carbon management goals and discusses the arbitrary characteristics of facility- and product-based carbon emissions control regulations. We model an oil sands operation that operates with and without incorporated cogeneration. We compare CO₂ emissions and associated costs under different carbon emissions control regulations, including the present carbon emissions control regulation of Alberta. The results suggest that incorporating cogeneration into the growing oil sands industry could contribute in the near-term to reducing CO₂ emissions in Alberta. This analysis also shows that the different accounting methods and calculations of electricity offsets could lead to very different levels of incentives for cogeneration. Regulations that attempt to manage emissions on a product and facility basis may become arbitrary and complex as regulators attempt to approximate the effect of an economy-wide carbon price.

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