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The role of renewable energy in climate stabilization: results from the EMF27 scenarios

Author

Listed:
  • Gunnar Luderer

    (PIK - Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)

  • Volker Krey

    (IIASA - International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis [Laxenburg])

  • Katherine Calvin

    (Joint Global Change Research Institute - Joint Global Change Research Institute)

  • James Merrick

    (EPRI - Electric Power Research Institute, - Electric Power Research Institute)

  • Silvana Mima

    () (équipe EDDEN - PACTE - Pacte, Laboratoire de sciences sociales - UPMF - Université Pierre Mendès France - Grenoble 2 - UJF - Université Joseph Fourier - Grenoble 1 - IEPG - Sciences Po Grenoble - Institut d'études politiques de Grenoble - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Robert Pietzcker

    (PIK - Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)

  • Jasper van Vliet

    (PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency)

  • Kenichi Wada

    (Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth - Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth)

Abstract

This paper uses the EMF27 scenarios to explore the role of renewable energy (RE) in climate change mitigation. Currently RE supplies almost 20 % of global electricity demand. Almost all EMF27 mitigation scenarios show a strong increase in renewable power production, with a substantial ramp-up of wind and solar power deployment. In many scenarios, renewables are the most important long-term mitigation option for power supply. Wind energy is competitive even without climate policy, whereas the prospects of solar photovoltaics (PV) are highly contingent on the ambitiousness of climate policy. Bioenergy is an important and versatile energy carrier; however--with the exception of low temperature heat--there is less scope for renewables other than biomass for non-electric energy supply. Despite the important role of wind and solar power in climate change mitigation scenarios with full technology availability, limiting their deployment has a relatively small effect on mitigation costs, if nuclear and carbon capture and storage (CCS)--which can serve as substitutes in low-carbon power supply--are available. Limited bioenergy availability in combination with limited wind and solar power by contrast, results in a more substantial increase in mitigation costs. While a number of robust insights emerge, the results on renewable energy deployment levels vary considerably across the models. An in-depth analysis of a subset of EMF27 reveals substantial differences in modeling approaches and parameter assumptions. To a certain degree, differences in model results can be attributed to different assumptions about technology costs, resource potentials and systems integration.

Suggested Citation

  • Gunnar Luderer & Volker Krey & Katherine Calvin & James Merrick & Silvana Mima & Robert Pietzcker & Jasper van Vliet & Kenichi Wada, 2014. "The role of renewable energy in climate stabilization: results from the EMF27 scenarios," Post-Print halshs-00961843, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00961843
    DOI: 10.1007/s10584-013-0924-z
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00961843
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    File URL: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00961843/document
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Gunnar Luderer & Valentina Bosetti & Michael Jakob & Marian Leimbach & Jan Steckel & Henri Waisman & Ottmar Edenhofer, 2012. "The economics of decarbonizing the energy system—results and insights from the RECIPE model intercomparison," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 114(1), pages 9-37, September.
    2. Ottmar Edenhofer , Brigitte Knopf, Terry Barker, Lavinia Baumstark, Elie Bellevrat, Bertrand Chateau, Patrick Criqui, Morna Isaac, Alban Kitous, Socrates Kypreos, Marian Leimbach, Kai Lessmann, Bertra, 2010. "The Economics of Low Stabilization: Model Comparison of Mitigation Strategies and Costs," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I).
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    Keywords

    scenario; climate change; renewable energy;
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