We quantify the theoretical potential for energy-efficiency CDM projects using best available technology in coal, natural gas or oil fuelled power generation in China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa, looking at new power plants or retrofit measures. We then discuss the likelihood of the potential emission reductions materialising under CDM. Our results are very sensitive to choices of baseline and project efficiencies and the level of electricity generation from potential emission reduction projects until 2020. The highest emission reduction potential can be achieved from using supercritical power plants in China (275 Mt CO2), India (130 Mt) and Indonesia (41 Mt), followed by retrofit measures in China (<62 Mt), India (<31 Mt). In Brazil, new gas power plants offer the most emission reduction potential (36 Mt), while in South Africa the complete refurbishments of currently mothballed 4 GW coal-fired power plants offer a moderate potential (<13 Mt). Especially the chances for natural gas power projects to qualify as CDM projects are slim due to their very high economic attractiveness. In India both new supercritical coal-fired power plants as well as refurbishment of coal power plants stand a fair chance to pass the additionality test as supercritical power plants have not been commissioned so far and (international) financing for power projects is harder to procure than in China.
CDM power generation fossil fuel efficiency improvement