Directions for Transition to Low-Carbon Energy in the Baikal-Khuvsgul Transboundary Territory: Background, Conditions, Effects
Keywords:power supply systems, environmental assessment, greenhouse gases, emissions of pollutants, ash and slag waste
The joint development of transboundary territories of Russia and Mongolia primarily focuses on a unique natural formation, the Baikal-Khuvsgul basin. These territories are a promising area for the expansion of cooperation in the field of environmental protection, tourism and energy. The existing energy system, however, does not provide the appropriate conditions for this, as it is characterized by low reliability and the impossibility of connecting new large consumers. Heat is supplied to consumers from numerous coal-fired and wood-fired boiler houses of small and medium capacity with outdated equipment. In the context of energy supply problems and a focus on environmentally attractive low-carbon technologies, this study examines the use of renewable energy and conversion of municipal boilers to gas. An analysis of the available resources in the territory showed a high solar energy potential for the development of generation based on photovoltaic converters. Another way to use RES in the Baikal-Khuvsgul area is to replace low-capacity coal-fired boilers with heat pump units. Conversion of boiler houses to gas does not solve completely the issue of decarbonization, since CO2 emissions, although to a lesser extent, occur during the gaseous fuel combustion. At the same time, it will significantly reduce the human-induced environmental impact through the elimination of particulate matter and sulfur dioxide emissions, and ash and slag waste. The paper presents a feasibility study of solutions for the development of electricity and heat supply with a minimum emission of greenhouse gases and pollutants in the Baikal-Khuvsgul transboundary territory.
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