This increase in demand will lead to construction of new power plants; this means that more greenhouse gas will be released into environment; and the environment will continue to be affected by the greenhouse emissions. Generally, there exists a number of ways in which electric energy (electricity) is produced; and each method of production has benefits and disadvantages in relation to operation cost, and impact on the environment, among other factors. For example, the major sources of electric energy include: nuclear energy, coal, natural gas, hydroelectric, oil, biomass, solar and wind among others. Therefore, there is a great need that the future power plants are built such that greenhouse emissions are kept as minimum as possible, and environmental impact is minimized. In this regard, this research paper has carried out a life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from four natural gas and biomass power plants in United Kingdom. The plants investigated in this research include: Elean, Knapton, Sleaford and Sutton Bridge power plants. These power plants source electricity from natural gas, oil, and/or biomass among others. Table of Contents 1.INTRODUCTION 5 1.1 Aims 6 1.2 Problem statement 6 2.LITERATURE REVIEW 7 2.1 Understanding Lifecycle assessment 7 2.2 Lifecycle assessment of the various energy sources 8 2.2.1 Fossil Fuel 8 2.2.2 Lignite 8 2.2.3 Coal 8 2.2.4 Oil 9 2.2.5 Biomass 9 3.METHODOLOGY 9 4.ELEAN POWER PLANT 10 4.1 Power plant’s Brief preview 10 4.2 Characteristics of straw used on the power (the major source of fuel) 10 4.3 Life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from Elean Power Plant 12 4.3.1 The source of Straw used in Elean Power Plant 12 4.3.2 Transportation of straw to the power plant 12 4.3.3 Calculation of greenhouse emissions as a result of combusion of diesel 18 4.4 Emission with carbon capture 33 4.5 MASS BALANCE FOR ELEAN POWER PLANT 34 4.6 ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF ELEAN POWER PLANT 37 5.SLEAFORD RENEWABLE ENERGY PLANT 39 5.1 Preview of sleaford power plant 39 5.2 Life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from Sleaford Renewable Energy 41 5.3 Calculation of greenhouse emissions as a result of combusion of diesel 44 5.4 Emission with carbon capture 56 5.5 Mass Balance 56 5.6 ECONOMIC ANALYSIS FOR SLEAFORD RENEWABLE ENERGY 59 6SUTTON BRIDGE POWER STATION 60 6.1 Brief Preview of the power plant 60 6.2 Life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from Sutton Bridge Power Plant 61 6.3 Emission with carbon capture 67 Elean power plant is considered one of the major Biomass fired power stations in the world; in fact, according to Farming and Countryside Education (2013), it is the largest power plant in the world that is powered by straw. In addition, it is normally considered the first straw fired power plant in the United Kingdom. It is located in Cambridgeshire at Sutton area near Ely, and it was constructed in the period between 1998 and 2000 (that is, construction of the power plant begun in 1998, and was completed in 2000) (Farming and Countryside Education, 2013). It is estimated that the power plant consumes approximately 200000 tonnes of straw every year, and that it generates electric power that is enough to serve about 800000 homes (Galbraith, et al., 2006). Or according to Farming and Countryside Education (2013), it produces electric power that is enough to power two towns whose sizes can be compared to that of Cambridge.
Elean power plant has two barns which are 18 meters high, and are used to house straw (fuel for the production of electricty); these barns are located on the either side the plants 25 meter high boiler (Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions, 2012). In order that the plant fits perfectly into unfavourable surrounding landscape, it was constructed approximately 8 meters into the ground surface (Brem, 2005).