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Pathways toward Zero-Carbon Electricity Required for Climate Stabilization

Author

Listed:
  • Richard Audoly
  • Adrien Vogt-Schilb
  • Céline Guivarch
  • Alexander Pfeiffer

Abstract

This paper covers three policy-relevant aspects of the carbon content of electricity that are well established among integrated assessment models but under-discussed in the policy debate. First, climate stabilization at any level from 2?C to 3?C requires electricity to be almost carbon-free before the end of the century. As such, the question for policy makers is not whether to decarbonize electricity but when to do it. Second, decarbonization of electricity is still possible and required if some of the key zero-carbon technologies — such as nuclear power or carbon capture and storage — turn out to be unavailable. Third, progressive decarbonization of electricity is part of every country’s cost-effective means of contributing to climate stabilization. In addition, this paper provides cost-effective pathways of the carbon content of electricity — extracted from the results of AMPERE, a recent integrated assessment model comparison study, and the IPCC AR5 database. These pathways can be used to benchmark existing decarbonization targets, such as those set by the European Energy Roadmap or the Clean Power Plan in the United States, or inform new policies in other countries. These pathways can also be used to assess the desirable uptake rates of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric stoves and heat pumps, industrial electric furnaces, or other electrification technologies

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Audoly & Adrien Vogt-Schilb & Céline Guivarch & Alexander Pfeiffer, 2017. "Pathways toward Zero-Carbon Electricity Required for Climate Stabilization," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 8498, Inter-American Development Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:brikps:8498
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Vogt-Schilb, Adrien & Meunier, Guy & Hallegatte, Stéphane, 2018. "When starting with the most expensive option makes sense: Optimal timing, cost and sectoral allocation of abatement investment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 210-233.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Zero-Carbon Electricity; Environmental Policy; Electricity; Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation; environmental policy; climate change;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics

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