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Annex III is intended to become a ‘living document’, which will be updated in the light of new information in order to serve as an input to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). Scientists that are interested in supporting this process are invited to contact the IPCC WG III Technical Support Unit (TSU) (using email@example.com) in order to get further information concerning the submission process. Comments and new data input will be considered for inclusion in Volume 3 of the IPCC AR5 according to the procedures of the IPCC review system.
This Annex contains recent cost and performance parameter information for currently commercially available renewable power generation technologies (Table A.III.1), heating technologies (Table A.III.2) and bio-fuel production processes (Table A.III.3). It summarizes information that determines the levelized cost of energy or energy carriers supplied by the respective technologies.
The input ranges are based on assessments of various studies by authors of the respective technology chapters (Chapters 2 through 7). If not stated otherwise, the data ranges provided here are worldwide aggregates. Data are generally for 2008, but can be as recent as 2009. They represent roughly the mid-80% of values found in the literature, hence, excluding outliers. The availability and quality of different sources of data varies significantly across individual technologies for a variety of reasons. Some expert judgment is therefore required to determine data ranges that are representative of particular classes of technologies and specific periods of time and valid globally.
Geothermal energy has the potential to provide long-term, secure base-load energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions. Accessible geothermal energy from the Earth's interior supplies heat for direct use and to generate electric energy. Climate change is not expected to have any major impacts on the effectiveness of geothermal energy utilization, but the widespread deployment of geothermal energy could play a meaningful role in mitigating climate change. In electricity applications, the commercialization and use of engineered (or enhanced) geothermal systems (EGS) may play a central role in establishing the size of the contribution of geothermal energy to long-term GHG emissions reductions.
The natural replenishment of heat from earth processes and modern reservoir management techniques enable the sustainable use of geothermal energy as a low-emission, renewable resource. With appropriate resource management, the tapped heat from an active reservoir is continuously restored by natural heat production, conduction and convection from surrounding hotter regions, and the extracted geothermal fluids are replenished by natural recharge and by injection of the depleted (cooled) fluids.
Global geothermal technical potential is comparable to global primary energy supply in 2008. For electricity generation, the technical potential of geothermal energy is estimated to be between 118 EJ/yr (to 3 km depth) and 1,109 EJ/yr (to 10 km depth). For direct thermal uses, the technical potential is estimated to range from 10 to 312 EJ/yr. The heat extracted to achieve these technical potentials can be fully or partially replenished over the long term by the continental terrestrial heat flow of 315 EJ/yr at an average flux of 65 mW/m2.
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