White Knights: Will wind and solar come to the rescue of a looming capacity gap from nuclear phase-out or slow CCS start-up?
AbstractIn the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident, countries like Germany and Japan have planned a phase-out of nuclear generation. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology has yet to become a commercially viable technology with little prospect of doing so without strong climate policy to spur development. The possibility of using renewable power generation from wind and solar as a non-emitting alternative to replace a nuclear phase-out or failure to deploy CCS technology is investigated using scenarios from EMF27 and the POLES model. A strong carbon price appears necessary to have significant penetration of renewables regardless of alternative generation technologies available, but especially if nuclear or CCS are absent from the energy supply system. The feasibility of replacing nuclear generation appears possible at realistic costs (evaluated as total abatement costs and final user prices to households); however for ambitious climate policies, such as a 450 ppm target, CCS could represent a critical technology that renewables will not be able to fully replace without unbearable economic costs.
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Date of creation: Oct 2013
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Publication status: Published, Climatic Change, 2013, published online 11 October 2013
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nuclear energy ; CCS ; phase-out ; renewable energy ; climate policy;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-10-25 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2013-10-25 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-ENV-2013-10-25 (Environmental Economics)
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