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Technology Options for Low Stabilization Pathways with MERGE

Bertrand Magne, Socrates Kypreos, and Hal Turton

Year: 2010
Volume: Volume 31
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol31-NoSI-4
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Abstract:
This paper investigates long-term transitions of the global energy system compatible with realizing low stabilization climate targets, using an enhanced MERGE model. The results indicate that stringent mitigation targets can be met under many technology scenarios, but major technological change is needed, highlighting important roles for R&D and learning-by-doing. The analysis explores the impact of limiting the set of available technology options (to account for technical uncertainties and issues of public acceptance) and identifies important influences on energy system development and economic costs under low stabilization. Biomass availability is seen to have a major influence on the characteristics of the energy system. Carbon capture and storage technologies also prove to be potentially critical for both electricity and fuel synthesis, particularly when combined with biomass to produce net negative emissions. Additionally, the availability of fast breeders provides a competitive zero-emissions option. Energy efficiency and large-scale application of renewables are also critical to realising low stabilization scenarios.



Managing the Low-Carbon Transition - From Model Results to Policies

Brigitte Knopf, Ottmar Edenhofer, Christian Flachsland, Marcel T. J. Kok, Hermann Lotze-Campen, Gunnar Luderer, Alexander Popp, Detlef P. van Vuuren

Year: 2010
Volume: Volume 31
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol31-NoSI-9
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Abstract:
Model analysis within the ADAM project has shown that achieving low greenhouse gas concentration levels, e.g. at 400ppm CO2-eq, is technologically feasible at costs of a few percent of GDP. However, models simplify the dynamics involved in implementing climate policy and the results depend on critical model assumptions such as global participation in climate policy and full availability of current and newly evolving technologies. The design of a low stabilization policy regime in the real world depends on factors that can only be partly covered by models. In this context, the paper reflects on limits of the integrated assessment models used to explore climate policy and addresses the issues of (i) how global participation might be achieved, (ii) which kind of options are available to induce deep GHG reductions inside and outside the energy sector, and (iii) which risks and which co-benefits of mitigation options are not assessed by the models.





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