Burning ammonia with coal for power could create USD-100bn market by 2050

Image by Wood Mackenzie on LinkedIn.

May 18 (Renewables Now) - A 10% ammonia co-firing in coal plants globally could result in 200 million tonnes of ammonia demand by 2050, representing a potential market opportunity of USD 100 billion (EUR 95bn), according to Wood Mackenzie.

As security and diversity of supply have become more important amid elevated commodity prices, the ability to co-fire ammonia or low-carbon hydrogen in thermal generation is getting more attractive, the analyst firm says. And it could be an additional decarbonisation measure for the power sector.

“When looking at power generation, ammonia is one available option to be used directly either by itself or by co-firing with no reconversion cost needed,” said Prakash Sharma, vice president of multi-commodity research at Wood Mackenzie. He was speaking at the APPEA conference today in Brisbane.

Japanese power utilities are at the forefront of co-firing ammonia in both coal- and gas-fired power plants, with commercial operations expected to start around 2025.

Wood Mackenzie projects that the delivered cost of low-carbon ammonia to Japan would fall 60% from current levels to under USD 500 per tonne by 2050. Blue and green hydrogen from Australia, Canada, Chile and the Middle East were taken into account in this estimate. The firm expects that falling costs combined with supportive policies will reduce the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) to USD 90 per MWh by 2050.

(USD 1 = EUR 0.949)

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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