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Decarbonizing Europe’s power sector by 2050 - Analyzing the implications of alternative decarbonization pathways


  • Jägemann, Cosima

    () (Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln)


In this paper, the implications of alternative decarbonization pathways for Europe's power sector up until the year 2050 are analyzed. In speci fic, an electricity system optimization model is used to investigate the minimal costs of decarbonization under a stand-alone CO2 reduction target and to quantify the excess costs associated with renewable energy targets and politically implemented restrictions on alternative lowcarbon technologies, such as nuclear power. Our numerical simulations con firm the theoretical argumentation concerning counterproductive overlapping regulation. The decarbonization of Europe's power sector is found to be achieved at minimal costs under a stand-alone CO2 reduction target (171 bn €2010). Additionally implemented RES-E targets lead to signi cant excess costs of at least 237 bn €2010. Excess costs of a complete nuclear phase-out in Europe by 2050 are of the same order of magnitude (274 bn €2010).

Suggested Citation

  • Jägemann, Cosima, 2012. "Decarbonizing Europe’s power sector by 2050 - Analyzing the implications of alternative decarbonization pathways," EWI Working Papers 2012-13, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln (EWI).
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:ewikln:2012_013

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nagl, Stephan & Fürsch, Michaela & Jägemann, Cosima & Bettzüge, Marc Oliver, 2011. "The economic value of storage in renewable power systems - the case of thermal energy storage in concentrating solar plants," EWI Working Papers 2011-8, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln (EWI).
    2. Boeters, Stefan & Koornneef, Joris, 2011. "Supply of renewable energy sources and the cost of EU climate policy," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 1024-1034, September.
    3. Fürsch, Michaela & Hagspiel, Simeon & Jägemann, Cosima & Nagl, Stephan & Lindenberger, Dietmar & Tröster, Eckehard, 2013. "The role of grid extensions in a cost-efficient transformation of the European electricity system until 2050," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 642-652.
    4. Nagl, Stephan & Fürsch, Michaela & Lindenberger, Dietmar, 2012. "The costs of electricity systems with a high share of fluctuating renewables - a stochastic investment and dispatch optimization model for Europe," EWI Working Papers 2012-1, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln (EWI).
    5. Aune, Finn Roar & Dalen, Hanne Marit & Hagem, Cathrine, 2012. "Implementing the EU renewable target through green certificate markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 992-1000.
    6. Möst, Dominik & Fichtner, Wolf, 2010. "Renewable energy sources in European energy supply and interactions with emission trading," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 2898-2910, June.
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    More about this item


    Electricity; CO2 target; renewable target; excess costs; optimization model;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • Q40 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - General
    • Q50 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - General

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