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  • Journal article
    Sesini M, Giarola S, Hawkes AD, 2022,

    Solidarity measures: Assessment of strategic gas storage on EU regional risk groups natural gas supply resilience

    , Applied Energy, Vol: 308, Pages: 1-15, ISSN: 0306-2619

    This paper focuses on strategic storage as a solidarity measure in response to short-term “high-impact, low-probability” (HILP) disruptions in the European Union (EU) gas supply from major suppliers (i.e., Ukraine, Russia, Norway, and North Africa), assuming its implementation in selected Member States. A two-stage stochastic cost minimization gas transport model is used to evaluate the impact of HILP events on the level of demand curtailment, survival time, and the natural gas supply mix of EU regional risk group. Results show that geographic proximity alone, without solidarity measures, is inadequate in providing system resilience. In contrast, solidarity measures lead to a longer survival time for regional risk groups (14 days) and to a reduction in system (15%) and LNG (70%) costs relative to a base scenario with no strategic storage. The analysis stresses the value of the coordinated use of strategic storage in balancing the natural gas network during emergencies, and provides further evidence supporting the EU legislative path towards an Energy Union.

  • Journal article
    Sognnaes I, Gambhir A, van de Ven D-J, Nikas A, Anger-Kraavi A, Bui H, Campagnolo L, Delpiazzo E, Doukas H, Giarola S, Grant N, Hawkes A, Köberle AC, Kolpakov A, Mittal S, Moreno J, Perdana S, Rogelj J, Vielle M, Peters GPet al., 2021,

    A multi-model analysis of long-term emissions and warming implications of current mitigation efforts

    , Nature Climate Change, Vol: 11, Pages: 1055-1062, ISSN: 1758-678X

    Most of the integrated assessment modelling literature focuses on cost-effective pathways towards given temperature goals. Conversely, using seven diverse integrated assessment models, we project global energy CO2 emissions trajectories on the basis of near-term mitigation efforts and two assumptions on how these efforts continue post-2030. Despite finding a wide range of emissions by 2050, nearly all the scenarios have median warming of less than 3 °C in 2100. However, the most optimistic scenario is still insufficient to limit global warming to 2 °C. We furthermore highlight key modelling choices inherent to projecting where emissions are headed. First, emissions are more sensitive to the choice of integrated assessment model than to the assumed mitigation effort, highlighting the importance of heterogeneous model intercomparisons. Differences across models reflect diversity in baseline assumptions and impacts of near-term mitigation efforts. Second, the common practice of using economy-wide carbon prices to represent policy exaggerates carbon capture and storage use compared with explicitly modelling policies.

  • Journal article
    Sesini M, Giarola S, Hawkes AD, 2021,

    Strategic natural gas storage coordination among EU member states in response to disruption in the trans Austria gas pipeline: A stochastic approach to solidarity

    , Energy, Vol: 235, Pages: 1-13, ISSN: 0360-5442

    The 2019 EU energy security agenda has led to the concept of solidarity: a coordinated response of Member States to “high-impact, low-probability” events jeopardizing the EU energy supply. At the core of this paper is a modeling analysis of storage as a non-market-based solidarity measure (the so-called strategic storage) considering whether it could be economically desirable to secure gas supply in case of disruption to the EU network. A two-stage stochastic cost minimization gas transport model was developed to study the short-term resilience of the network to supply shocks, such as a natural gas pipeline rupture, and the cost effective system response, in terms of transmission of gas flows, capacity use, and storage utilization in an interconnected gas system, taken the EU as a reference. Relative to a base scenario with no strategic storage, results show that gas import loss up to 80% on multiple different pipelines could lead to a +76% in total costs when no coordinated strategic storage is in place, compared with a −30% in total cost and a −60% in liquefied natural gas cost, when in use, emphasizing the cost-effectiveness achieved with strategic storage in securing energy to the system in emergency.

  • Journal article
    Giarola S, Mittal S, Vielle M, Perdana S, Campagnolo L, Delpiazzo E, Bui H, Anger Kraavi A, Kolpakov A, Sognnaes I, Peters G, Hawkes A, Koberle A, Grant N, Gambhir A, Nikas A, Doukas H, Moreno J, van de Ven D-Jet al., 2021,

    Challenges in the harmonisation of global integrated assessment models: a comprehensive methodology to reduce model response heterogeneity

    , Science of the Total Environment, Vol: 783, ISSN: 0048-9697

    Harmonisation sets the ground to a solid inter-comparison of integrated assessment models. A clear and transparent harmonisation process promotes a consistent interpretation of the modelling outcomes divergences and, reducing the model variance, is instrumental to the use of integrated assessment models to support policy decision-making. Despite its crucial role for climate economic policies, the definition of a comprehensive harmonisation methodology for integrated assessment modelling remains an open challenge for the scientific community.This paper proposes a framework for a harmonisation methodology with the definition of indispensable steps and recommendations to overcome stumbling blocks in order to reduce the variance of the outcomes which depends on controllable modelling assumptions. The harmonisation approach of the PARIS REINFORCE project is presented here to layout such a framework. A decomposition analysis of the harmonisation process is shown through 6 integrated assessment models (GCAM, ICES-XPS, MUSE, E3ME, GEMINI-E3, and TIAM). Results prove the potentials of the proposed framework to reduce the model variance and present a powerful diagnostic tool to feedback on the quality of the harmonisation itself.

  • Journal article
    Nikas A, Elia A, Boitier B, Koasidis K, Doukas H, Cassetti G, Anger-Kraavi A, Bui H, Campagnolo L, De Miglio R, Delpiazzo E, Fougeyrollas A, Gambhir A, Gargiulo M, Giarola S, Grant N, Hawkes A, Herbst A, Köberle AC, Kolpakov A, Le Mouël P, McWilliams B, Mittal S, Moreno J, Neuner F, Perdana S, Peters GP, Plötz P, Rogelj J, Sognnæs I, Van de Ven D-J, Vielle M, Zachmann G, Zagamé P, Chiodi Aet al., 2021,

    Where is the EU headed given its current climate policy? A stakeholder-driven model inter-comparison.

    , Science of the Total Environment, Vol: 793, Pages: 148549-148549, ISSN: 0048-9697

    Recent calls to do climate policy research with, rather than for, stakeholders have been answered in non-modelling science. Notwithstanding progress in modelling literature, however, very little of the scenario space traces back to what stakeholders are ultimately concerned about. With a suite of eleven integrated assessment, energy system and sectoral models, we carry out a model inter-comparison for the EU, the scenario logic and research questions of which have been formulated based on stakeholders' concerns. The output of this process is a scenario framework exploring where the region is headed rather than how to achieve its goals, extrapolating its current policy efforts into the future. We find that Europe is currently on track to overperforming its pre-2020 40% target yet far from its newest ambition of 55% emissions cuts by 2030, as well as looking at a 1.0-2.35 GtCO2 emissions range in 2050. Aside from the importance of transport electrification, deployment levels of carbon capture and storage are found intertwined with deeper emissions cuts and with hydrogen diffusion, with most hydrogen produced post-2040 being blue. Finally, the multi-model exercise has highlighted benefits from deeper decarbonisation in terms of energy security and jobs, and moderate to high renewables-dominated investment needs.

  • Journal article
    Doukas H, Spiliotis E, Jafari MA, Giarola S, Nikas Aet al., 2021,

    Low-cost emissions cuts in container shipping: thinking inside the box

    , Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Vol: 94, ISSN: 1361-9209

    Container shipping has become an emission-intensive industry; existing regulations, however, continue to display limitations. Technical emissions reduction measures require large, long-term investments, while operational measures may negatively impact transportation costs and supply-chain practices. For container shipping to become more sustainable, innovative, low-cost technological solutions are required. This study discusses such a technological game-changer which utilizes a lighter container type that, contrary to conventional ones, does not require wood in its floor. In this regard, emissions reductions are achieved both due to lower fuel consumption and tree savings. We estimate the global impact of this technology until 2050 using an integrated assessment model and considering different projections about future characteristics of the container fleet. Our results indicate that the adoption of the examined technology can reduce emissions by 4.7–18.8% depending on the main fuel used in container shipping lines, saving also a total of about 44 million trees.

  • Journal article
    Giarola S, Molar-Cruz A, Vaillancourt K, Bahn O, Sarmiento L, Hawkes A, Brown Met al., 2021,

    The role of energy storage in the uptake of renewable energy: a model comparison approach

    , Energy Policy, Vol: 151, ISSN: 0301-4215

    The power sector needs to ensure a rapid transition towards a low-carbon energy system to avoid the dangerous consequences of greenhouse gas emissions. Storage technologies are a promising option to provide the power system with the flexibility required when intermittent renewables are present in the electricity generation mix. This paper focuses on the role of electricity storage in energy systems with high shares of renewable sources. The study encompasses a model comparison approach where four models (GENeSY S-MOD, MUSE, NAT EM, and urbs−MX) are used to analyse the storage uptake in North America. The analysis addresses the conditions affecting storage uptake in each country and its dependence on resource availability, technology costs, and public policies. Results show that storage may promote emissions reduction at lower costs when renewable mandates are in place whereas in presence of carbon taxes, renewables may compete with other low-carbon options. The study also highlights the main modelling approach shortcomings in the modelling of electricity storage in integrated assessment models.

  • Journal article
    Sechi S, Giarola S, Lanzini A, Gandiglio M, Santarelli M, Oluleye G, Hawkes Aet al., 2021,

    A bottom-up appraisal of the technically installable capacity ofbiogas-based solid oxide fuel cells for self power generation in wastewatertreatment plants

    , Journal of Environmental Management, Vol: 279, Pages: 1-15, ISSN: 0301-4797

    This paper proposes a bottom-up method to estimate the technical capacity of solid oxide fuel cells to be installed in wastewater treatment plants and valorise the biogas obtained from the sludge through an efficient conversion into electricity and heat. The methodology uses stochastic optimisation on 200 biogas profile scenarios generated from industrial data and envisages a Pareto approach for an a posteriori assessment of the optimal number of generation unit for the most representative plant configuration sizes. The method ensures that the dominant role of biogas fluctuation is included in the market potential and guarantees that the utilization factor of the modules remains higher than 70% to justify the investment costs. Results show that the market potential for solid oxide fuel cells across Europe would lead up to 1,300 MW of installed electric capacity in the niche market of wastewater treatment and could initiate a capital and fixed costs reduction which could make the technology comparable with alternative combined heat and power solutions.

  • Journal article
    Brown M, Siddiqui S, Avraam C, Bistline J, Decarolis J, Eshraghi H, Giarola S, Hansen M, Johnston P, Khanal S, Molar-Cruz Aet al., 2021,

    North American energy system responses to natural gas price shocks

    , Energy Policy, Vol: 149, Pages: 1-11, ISSN: 0301-4215

    As of 2020, North American natural gas extraction and use in the electricity sector have both reached all-time highs. The combination of North America's increased reliance on natural gas with a potential disruption to the natural gas market has several energy security implications. Additionally, policymakers interested in economic resiliency will find this study's results useful for informing the implications of the energy sectors' long-term planning and investment decisions. This paper evaluates how both the electricity and natural gas sectors could respond to hypothetical gas price shocks under different system configurations. We impose unforeseen natural gas price shocks under reference and alternative configurations resulting from a renewable generation mandate or variations to renewable capacity costs. Results from several different models are presented for the electricity and natural gas sectors separately for Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Generally, the US becomes more (less) reliant on electricity imports from Canada given a high (low) gas price shock but increases (decreases) exports to Mexico. The renewable mandate is demonstrated to buffer electricity price increases under high price shocks but price reductions under the low price shocks are dampened given less flexibility to take advantage of the low-priced natural gas. The United States is demonstrated to reduce natural gas production and net exports with high natural gas price shocks given a reduction in demand.

  • Journal article
    García Kerdan I, Giarola S, Skinner E, Tuleu M, Hawkes Aet al., 2020,

    Modelling future agricultural mechanisation of major crops in China: an assessment of energy demand, land use and emissions

    , Energies, Vol: 13, Pages: 6636-6636, ISSN: 1996-1073

    Agricultural direct energy use is responsible for about 1–2% of global emissions and is the major emitting sector for methane (2.9 GtCO2eq y−1) and nitrous oxide (2.3 GtCO2eq y−1). In the last century, farm mechanisation has brought higher productivity levels and lower land demands at the expense of an increase in fossil energy and agrochemicals use. The expected increase in certain food and bioenergy crops and the uncertain mitigation options available for non-CO2 emissions make of vital importance the assessment of the use of energy and the related emissions attributable to this sector. The aim of this paper is to present a simulation framework able to forecast energy demand, technological diffusion, required investment and land use change of specific agricultural crops. MUSE-Ag & LU, a novel energy systems-oriented agricultural and land use model, has been used for this purpose. As case study, four main crops (maize, soybean, wheat and rice) have been modelled in mainland China. Besides conventional direct energy use, the model considers inputs such as fertiliser and labour demand. Outputs suggest that the modernisation of agricultural processes in China could have the capacity to reduce by 2050 on-farm emissions intensity from 0.024 to 0.016 GtCO2eq PJcrop−1 (−35.6%), requiring a necessary total investment of approximately 319.4 billion 2017$US.

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