Imperial College London

Dr Alexandre Koberle

Faculty of Natural SciencesThe Grantham Institute for Climate Change

Research Fellow
 
 
 
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Contact

 

a.koberle

 
 
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Sherfield BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
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17 results found

Realmonte G, Hawkes A, Gambhir A, Tavoni M, Glynn J, Koberle A, Drouet Let al., 2019, An inter-model assessment of the role of direct air capture in deep mitigation pathways, Nature Communications, Vol: 10, ISSN: 2041-1723

The feasibility of large-scale biological CO2 removal to achieve stringent climate targets remains unclear. Direct Air CarbonCapture and Storage (DACCS) offers an alternative negative emissions technology (NET) option. Here we conduct the firstinter-model comparison on the role of DACCS in 1.5 and 2°C scenarios, under a variety of techno-economic assumptions.Deploying DACCS significantly reduces mitigation costs, and it complements rather than substitutes other NETs. The key factorlimiting DACCS deployment is the rate at which it can be scaled up. Our scenarios’ average DACCS scale-up rates of 1.5GtCO2/yr would require considerable sorbent production and up to 300 EJ/yr of energy input by 2100. The risk of assumingthat DACCS can be deployed at scale, and finding it to be subsequently unavailable, leads to a global temperature overshoot ofup to 0.8°C. DACCS should therefore be developed and deployed alongside, rather than instead of, other mitigation options.

Journal article

Krey V, Guo F, Kolp P, Zhou W, Schaeffer R, Awasthy A, Bertram C, de Boer HS, Fragkos P, Fujimori S, He C, Iyer G, Keramidas K, Köberle AC, Oshiro K, Reis LA, Shoai-Tehrani B, Vishwanathan S, Capros P, Drouet L, Edmonds JE, Garg A, Gernaat DEHJ, Jiang K, Kannavou M, Kitous A, Kriegler E, Luderer G, Mathur R, Muratori M, Sano F, van Vuuren DPet al., 2019, Looking under the hood: A comparison of techno-economic assumptions across national and global integrated assessment models, Energy, Vol: 172, Pages: 1254-1267, ISSN: 0360-5442

Integrated assessment models are extensively used in the analysis of climate change mitigation and are informing national decision makers as well as contribute to international scientific assessments. This paper conducts a comprehensive review of techno-economic assumptions in the electricity sector among fifteen different global and national integrated assessment models. Particular focus is given to six major economies in the world: Brazil, China, the EU, India, Japan and the US. The comparison reveals that techno-economic characteristics are quite different across integrated assessment models, both for the base year and future years. It is, however, important to recognize that techno-economic assessments from the literature exhibit an equally large range of parameters as the integrated assessment models reviewed. Beyond numerical differences, the representation of technologies also differs among models, which needs to be taken into account when comparing numerical parameters. While desirable, it seems difficult to fully harmonize techno-economic parameters across a broader range of models due to structural differences in the representation of technology. Therefore, making techno-economic parameters available in the future, together with of the technology representation as well as the exact definitions of the parameters should become the standard approach as it allows an open discussion of appropriate assumptions.

Journal article

Koberle AC, Portugal-Pereira J, Cunha B, Garaffa R, Lucena AFP, Szklo A, Schaeffer Ret al., 2019, Brazilian ethanol expansion subject to limitations, NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE, Vol: 9, Pages: 209-210, ISSN: 1758-678X

Journal article

Lap T, Benders R, Köberle A, van der Hilst F, Nogueira L, Szklo A, Schaeffer R, Faaij Aet al., 2019, Pathways for a Brazilian biobased economy: towards optimal utilization of biomass, Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining, ISSN: 1932-104X

Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining published by Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Biomass is responsible for 25% of the primary energy supply in Brazil. However, future biomass demand will be influenced by many factors. This study evaluates potential pathways for the utilization of biomass in Brazil until 2050, while considering novel biobased sectors (renewable jet fuel and biochemicals), resource competition, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Whereas other least-cost optimization models assess biobased options to meet energy and chemicals demand in Brazil to a limited extent, this study provides a detailed breakdown of biomass feedstock, including an extensive portfolio of biomass conversion technologies. A least-cost optimization model is used to assess the demand for energy and chemicals, and the competition between biomass and other climate-mitigation measures such as renewable power generation technologies, carbon capture and storage (CCS), and energy efficiency. Varied over the three scenarios, 86–96% of the sustainable biomass supply potential is used. Under more stringent mitigation targets, novel biomass conversion technologies start to play an important role: Biobased electricity production with CCS, jet fuel production from lignocellulosic biomass, and chemicals are partly produced from ethanol and bio-naphtha. The modeling framework provides a transparent view of which type of biomass can be used for which specific purpose. It is therefore an interesting tool for future research, for example to examine the dynamic interaction with demand for land. © 2019 The Authors. Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining published by Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Journal article

van den Berg NJ, van Soest HL, Hof AF, den Elzen MGJ, van Vuuren DP, Chen W, Drouet L, Emmerling J, Fujimori S, Höhne N, Kõberle AC, McCollum D, Schaeffer R, Shekhar S, Vishwanathan SS, Vrontisi Z, Blok Ket al., 2019, Implications of various effort-sharing approaches for national carbon budgets and emission pathways, Climatic Change, ISSN: 0165-0009

The bottom-up approach of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in the Paris Agreement has led countries to self-determine their greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets. The planned ‘ratcheting-up’ process, which aims to ensure that the NDCs comply with the overall goal of limiting global average temperature increase to well below 2 °C or even 1.5 °C, will most likely include some evaluation of ‘fairness’ of these reduction targets. In the literature, fairness has been discussed around equity principles, for which many different effort-sharing approaches have been proposed. In this research, we analysed how country-level emission targets and carbon budgets can be derived based on such criteria. We apply novel methods directly based on the global carbon budget, and, for comparison, more commonly used methods using GHG mitigation pathways. For both, we studied the following approaches: equal cumulative per capita emissions, contraction and convergence, grandfathering, greenhouse development rights and ability to pay. As the results critically depend on parameter settings, we used the wide authorship from a range of countries included in this paper to determine default settings and sensitivity analyses. Results show that effort-sharing approaches that (i) calculate required reduction targets in carbon budgets (relative to baseline budgets) and/or (ii) take into account historical emissions when determining carbon budgets can lead to (large) negative remaining carbon budgets for developed countries. This is the case for the equal cumulative per capita approach and especially the greenhouse development rights approach. Furthermore, for developed countries, all effort-sharing approaches except grandfathering lead to more stringent budgets than cost-optimal budgets, indicating that cost-optimal approaches do not lead to outcomes that can be regarded as fair according to most effort-sharing approaches.

Journal article

Lucena AFP, Hejazi M, Vasquez-Arroyo E, Turner S, Köberle AC, Daenzer K, Rochedo PRR, Kober T, Cai Y, Beach RH, Gernaat D, van Vuuren DP, van der Zwaan Bet al., 2018, Interactions between climate change mitigation and adaptation: The case of hydropower in Brazil, Energy, Vol: 164, Pages: 1161-1177, ISSN: 0360-5442

© 2018 Elsevier Ltd This paper performs a multi-model comparison to assess strategies for adaptation to climate change impacts in hydropower generation in Brazil under two Representative Concentration Pathways. The approach used allows for evaluating the interactions between climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies under low and high impact scenarios through 2050. Climate change impact projections of sixteen General Circulation Models indicate that a global high emissions trajectory scenario would likely yield more severe impacts on hydropower generation than a mitigation scenario. Adaptation modeling suggests that climate change impacts can be compensated by a wide range of alternatives, whose optimality will depend on the level of mitigation effort pursued. Our results show that climate change impacts would lead to even higher emissions in the absence of climate change mitigation policies. On the other hand, mitigation strategies to pursue lower emissions are maintained under climate change impacts, meaning that mitigation strategies are robust when faced with adaptation challenges. Mitigation efforts could yield a more diverse and less carbon intensive mix of technological options for adaptation. When analyzing investment costs to adapt to climate change impacts, in some cases mitigation can lead to a lower total investment level.

Journal article

Köberle AC, Garaffa R, Cunha BSL, Rochedo P, Lucena AFP, Szklo A, Schaeffer Ret al., 2018, Are conventional energy megaprojects competitive? Suboptimal decisions related to cost overruns in Brazil, Energy Policy, Vol: 122, Pages: 689-700, ISSN: 0301-4215

© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Cost minimization is arguably the most important criterion governing decisions about energy sector infrastructure construction. Usually, a winning project is picked among similar alternatives based on lowest levelized cost of energy, because, ceteris paribus, economies of scale drive down the unit cost of energy delivered. As such, megaprojects – here defined as costing more than a benchmark US$ 1 billion – are perceived as more competitive than smaller-scale options. However, megaprojects are prone to construction cost overruns and delays that, if included ex ante, may change the optimality of decision for a given project. We hypothesize that optimistic assumptions on techno-economic performance of megaprojects favor their inclusion in the solution of integrated assessment models (IAMs), preventing higher shares of non-hydro renewables, energy efficiency and other low-carbon options. To test this hypothesis, we ran the COPPE-MSB energy system cost-optimization model for infrastructure expansion. We estimate a factor (named Z factor, for zillions) to determine cost differences both within Brazil and vis-à-vis international parity and adjust the model's parameters for CAPEX and construction times of projects qualifying as megaprojects. Results show decreased coal and increased wind power generation, and a reduction in the number of new refineries leading to higher imports of diesel and gasoline.

Journal article

Rochedo PRR, Soares-Filho B, Schaeffer R, Viola E, Szklo A, Lucena AFP, Koberle A, Davis JL, Rajao R, Rathmann Ret al., 2018, The threat of political bargaining to climate mitigation in Brazil, NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE, Vol: 8, Pages: 695-+, ISSN: 1758-678X

Journal article

Portugal-Pereira J, Koberle A, Lucena AFP, Rochedo PRR, Imperio M, Carsalade AM, Schaeffer R, Rafaj Pet al., 2018, Interactions between global climate change strategies and local air pollution: lessons learnt from the expansion of the power sector in Brazil, Climatic Change, Vol: 148, Pages: 293-309, ISSN: 0165-0009

This study examines the interactions between local air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions to assess potential synergies and trade-offs between local environmental pollution and climate policies, using the power generation sector in Brazil under different carbon scenarios up to 2050 as a case study. To this end, an integrated approach was developed, combining energy scenarios under different carbon mitigation targets and a local air pollution assessment model, tailored to the context of the Brazilian power sector. Results reveal that there are deep interactions between climate change mitigation and local air pollution abatement strategies. Increasing the diffusion of low-carbon technologies results in both mitigation of climate change and lower terrestrial acidification potential impacts, due to the rapid phase-out of fossil fuel power technologies. However, local air pollution indicators for particulate matter formation and human toxicity may rise in response to greenhouse gas emission mitigation constraints, indicating the existence of potential trade-offs. Some of these trade-offs can be offset by introducing available end-of-pipe pollution control measures reinforced by dedicated air quality policies.

Journal article

Fragkos P, Fragkiadakisa K, Paroussos L, Pierfederici R, Vishwanathan S, Koberle A, Iyer G, He C-M, Oshiro Ket al., Coupling national and global models to explore policy impacts of NDCs, Energy Policy, ISSN: 0301-4215

Journal article

da Silveira Bezerra PB, Callegari CL, Ribas A, Lucena AFP, Portugal-Pereira J, Koberle A, Szklo A, Schaeffer Ret al., 2017, The power of light: socio-economic and environmental implications of a rural electrification program in Brazil, ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH LETTERS, Vol: 12, ISSN: 1748-9326

Journal article

Chávez-Rodríguez M, Varela D, Rodrigues F, Salvagno JB, Köberle AC, Vasquez-Arroyo E, Raineri R, Rabinovich Get al., 2017, The role of LNG and unconventional gas in the future natural gas markets of Argentina and Chile, Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering, Vol: 45, Pages: 584-598, ISSN: 1875-5100

© 2017 Elsevier B.V. The natural gas exports from Argentina to Chile until the last decade represented a milestone for the energy integration aspirations in South America. Since the interruptions of Argentinian gas flows to Chile in 2004, this regional gas trade has been substituted by LNG imports. In 2016, Chile even started delivering gas to Argentina sourced by its LNG regasification terminals. However, tapping into unconventional gas resources in Argentina can reshape the supply-demand balance for these two countries. This study analysed the interplay between LNG and unconventional gas under two scenarios of investments in upstream supported by an integrated modelling tool for gas and power. In the Low-Investment Scenario in upstream, LNG imports increase significantly making it necessary to double the regasification capacity of Argentina by 2030. In the High-Investment scenario, where unconventional gas represents nearly half of natural gas domestic production in 2030, Argentina will rely on LNG only to meet winter demands. For Chile, in both scenarios tested, LNG remains relevant, requiring the construction of new regasification terminals. Still, developing unconventional resources as in the High-Investment scenario allows Argentina to re-take exports to Chile in the next decade, mainly in the summer season, providing another opportunity for discussions on energy integration in the region.

Journal article

Portugal-Pereira J, Köberle AC, Soria R, Lucena AFP, Szklo A, Schaeffer Ret al., 2016, Overlooked impacts of electricity expansion optimisation modelling: The life cycle side of the story, Energy, Vol: 115, Part 2, Pages: 1424-1435, ISSN: 0360-5442

This work evaluates implications of incorporating LCA-GHG (life cycle assessment of GHG emissions) into the optimisation of the power generation mix of Brazil through 2050, under baseline and low-carbon scenarios. Furthermore, this work assesses the impacts of enacting a tax on LCA-GHG emissions as a strategy to mitigate climate change. To this end, a model that integrates regional life cycle data with optimised energy scenarios was developed using the MESSAGE-Brazil integrated model. Following a baseline trend, the power sector in Brazil would increasingly rely on conventional coal technologies. GHG emissions from the power sector in 2050 are expected to increase 15-fold. When enacting a tax on direct-carbon emissions, advanced coal and onshore wind technologies become competitive. GHG emissions peak at 2025 and decrease afterwards, reaching an emission level 40% lower in 2050 than that of 2010. However, if impacts were evaluated through the entire life cycle of power supply systems, LCA-GHG emissions would be 50% higher in 2050 than in 2010. This is due to loads associated with the construction of plant infrastructures and extraction and processing of fossil fuel resources. Thus, taxes might not be as effective in tackling GHG emissions as shown by past studies, if they are only applied to direct emissions.

Journal article

Carvalho F, Portugal-Pereira J, Koberle A, Szklo Aet al., 2016, BIOJET FUEL IN BRAZIL: TECHNOLOGICAL ROUTES AND FEEDSTOCK AVAILABILITY, 24th International European Biomass Conference on Setting the Course for a Biobased Economy, Publisher: ETA-FLORENCE RENEWABLE ENERGIES, Pages: 162-173

Conference paper

Martinez SH, Koberle A, Rochedo P, Schaeffer R, Lucena A, Szklo A, Ashina S, van Vuuren DPet al., 2015, Possible energy futures for Brazil and Latin America in conservative and stringent mitigation pathways up to 2050, TECHNOLOGICAL FORECASTING AND SOCIAL CHANGE, Vol: 98, Pages: 186-210, ISSN: 0040-1625

Journal article

Koberle AC, Gernaat DEHJ, van Vuuren DP, 2015, Assessing current and future techno-economic potential of concentrated solar power and photovoltaic electricity generation, ENERGY, Vol: 89, Pages: 739-756, ISSN: 0360-5442

Journal article

Portugal-Pereira J, Koberle A, Lucena AFP, Szklo A, Schaeffer Ret al., 2015, OVERLOOKED IMPACTS OF POWER GENERATION: THE LIFE CYCLE SIDE OF THE STORY, 2nd International Conference on Energy and Environment - Bringing together Engineering and Economics (ICEE), Publisher: UNIV MINHO, Pages: 467-475, ISSN: 2183-3982

Conference paper

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