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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Location

 

Sherfield BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
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31 results found

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, ISSN: 0048-9697

Journal article

Fragkos P, Laura van Soest H, Schaeffer R, Reedman L, Köberle AC, Macaluso N, Evangelopoulou S, De Vita A, Sha F, Qimin C, Kejun J, Mathur R, Shekhar S, Dewi RG, Diego SH, Oshiro K, Fujimori S, Park C, Safonov G, Iyer Get al., 2021, Energy system transitions and low-carbon pathways in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, EU-28, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States, Energy, Vol: 216, Pages: 119385-119385, ISSN: 0360-5442

Journal article

Koberle A, Ostrovnaya A, Ganguly G, 2021, A guide to building climate-financial scenarios for financial institutions, A guide to building climate-financial scenarios for financial institutions, https://www.imperial.ac.uk/grantham/, Publisher: Grantham Institute, 35

This briefing considers how the financial sector can manage the risks associated with moving to a zero-carbon future. The paper outlines why it is essential for financial institutions to understand so-called climate transition scenarios, which explore this journey to a zero-carbon future. The paper also sets out a framework that financial institutions can use to construct, or understand and use, climate transition scenarios in the context of financial sector risk management.

Report

Cormack C, Donovan C, Koberle A, Ostrovnaya Aet al., 2020, Estimating financial risks from the energy transition: potential impacts from decarbonization in the European power sector, JOURNAL OF ENERGY MARKETS, Vol: 13, Pages: 1-49, ISSN: 1756-3607

Journal article

Daioglou V, Muratori M, Lamers P, Fujimori S, Kitous A, Köberle AC, Bauer N, Junginger M, Kato E, Leblanc F, Mima S, Wise M, van Vuuren DPet al., 2020, Implications of climate change mitigation strategies on international bioenergy trade, Climatic Change, Vol: 163, Pages: 1639-1658, ISSN: 0165-0009

Most climate change mitigation scenarios rely on increased use of bioenergy to decarbonize the energy system. Here we use results from the 33rd Energy Modeling Forum study (EMF-33) to investigate projected international bioenergy trade for different integrated assessment models across several climate change mitigation scenarios. Results show that in scenarios with no climate policy, international bioenergy trade is likely to increase over time, and becomes even more important when climate targets are set. More stringent climate targets, however, do not necessarily imply greater bioenergy trade compared to weaker targets, as final energy demand may be reduced. However, the scaling up of bioenergy trade happens sooner and at a faster rate with increasing climate target stringency. Across models, for a scenario likely to achieve a 2 °C target, 10–45 EJ/year out of a total global bioenergy consumption of 72–214 EJ/year are expected to be traded across nine world regions by 2050. While this projection is greater than the present trade volumes of coal or natural gas, it remains below the present trade of crude oil. This growth in bioenergy trade largely replaces the trade in fossil fuels (especially oil) which is projected to decrease significantly over the twenty-first century. As climate change mitigation scenarios often show diversified energy systems, in which numerous world regions can act as bioenergy suppliers, the projections do not necessarily lead to energy security concerns. Nonetheless, rapid growth in the trade of bioenergy is projected in strict climate mitigation scenarios, raising questions about infrastructure, logistics, financing options, and global standards for bioenergy production and trade.

Journal article

Roelfsema M, van Soest HL, Harmsen M, van Vuuren DP, Bertram C, den Elzen M, Höhne N, Iacobuta G, Krey V, Kriegler E, Luderer G, Riahi K, Ueckerdt F, Després J, Drouet L, Emmerling J, Frank S, Fricko O, Gidden M, Humpenöder F, Huppmann D, Fujimori S, Fragkiadakis K, Gi K, Keramidas K, Köberle AC, Aleluia Reis L, Rochedo P, Schaeffer R, Oshiro K, Vrontisi Z, Chen W, Iyer GC, Edmonds J, Kannavou M, Jiang K, Mathur R, Safonov G, Vishwanathan SSet al., 2020, Taking stock of national climate policies to evaluate implementation of the Paris Agreement, Nature Communications, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-12, ISSN: 2041-1723

Many countries have implemented national climate policies to accomplish pledged Nationally Determined Contributions and to contribute to the temperature objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change. In 2023, the global stocktake will assess the combined effort of countries. Here, based on a public policy database and a multi-model scenario analysis, we show that implementation of current policies leaves a median emission gap of 22.4 to 28.2 GtCO2eq by 2030 with the optimal pathways to implement the well below 2 °C and 1.5 °C Paris goals. If Nationally Determined Contributions would be fully implemented, this gap would be reduced by a third. Interestingly, the countries evaluated were found to not achieve their pledged contributions with implemented policies (implementation gap), or to have an ambition gap with optimal pathways towards well below 2 °C. This shows that all countries would need to accelerate the implementation of policies for renewable technologies, while efficiency improvements are especially important in emerging countries and fossil-fuel-dependent countries.

Journal article

Köberle AC, Rochedo PRR, Lucena AFP, Szklo A, Schaeffer Ret al., 2020, Brazil’s emission trajectories in a well-below 2 °C world: the role of disruptive technologies versus land-based mitigation in an already low-emission energy system, Climatic Change, Vol: 162, Pages: 1823-1842, ISSN: 0165-0009

The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement (PA) submitted so far do not put the world on track to meet the targets of the Agreement and by 2020 countries should ratchet up ambition in the new round of NDCs. Brazil’s NDC to the PA received mixed reviews and has been rated as “medium” ambition. We use the Brazil Land Use and Energy System (BLUES) model to explore low-emission scenarios for Brazil for the 2010–2050 period that cost-effectively raise ambition to levels consistent with PA targets. Our results reinforce the fundamental role of the agriculture, forest, and land use (AFOLU) sectors and explore inter-sectoral linkages to power generation and transportation. We identify transportation as a prime candidate for decarbonization, leveraging Brazil’s already low-carbon electricity production and its high bioenergy production. Results indicate the most important mitigation measures are electrification of the light-duty vehicle (LDV) fleet for passenger transportation, biodiesel and biokerosene production via Fischer-Tropsch synthesis from lignocellulosic feedstock, and intensification of agricultural production. The use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) as well as netzero deforestation make significant contributions. We identify opportunities for Brazil, but synergies and trade-offs across sectors should be minded when designing climate policies.

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., 2020, Implications of various effort-sharing approaches for national carbon budgets and emission pathways, Climatic Change, Vol: 162, Pages: 1805-1822, 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

Schaeffer R, Koberle A, van Soest HL, Bertram C, Luderer G, Riahi K, Krey V, van Vuuren DP, Kriegler E, Fujimori S, Chen W, He C, Vrontisi Z, Vishwanathan S, Garg A, Mathur R, Shekhar S, Oshiro K, Ueckerdt F, Safonov G, Iyer G, Gi K, Potashnikov Vet al., 2020, Comparing transformation pathways across major economies, Climatic Change: an interdisciplinary, international journal devoted to the description, causes and implications of climatic change, ISSN: 0165-0009

This paper explores the consequences of different policy assumptions and the derivation of globally consistent, national low-carbon development pathways for the seven largest greenhouse gas (GHG)–emitting countries (EU28 as a bloc) in the world, covering approximately 70% of global CO2 emissions, in line with their contributions to limiting global average temperature increase to well below 2 °C as compared with pre-industrial levels. We introduce the methodology for developing these pathways by initially discussing the process by which global integrated assessment model (IAM) teams interacted and derived boundary conditions in the form of carbon budgets for the different countries. Carbon budgets so derived for the 2011–2050 period were then used in eleven different national energy-economy models and IAMs for producing low-carbon pathways for the seven countries in line with a well below 2 °C world up to 2050. We present a comparative assessment of the resulting pathways and of the challenges and opportunities associated with them. Our results indicate quite different mitigation pathways for the different countries, shown by the way emission reductions are split between different sectors of their economies and technological alternatives.

Journal article

Realmonte G, Drouet L, Gambhir A, Glynn J, Hawkes A, Koberle AC, Tavoni Met al., 2020, Reply to "High energy and materials requirement for direct air capture calls for further analysis and R&D", NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, Vol: 11, ISSN: 2041-1723

Journal article

Yamahaki C, Felsberg AV, Köberle AC, Gurgel AC, Stewart-Richardson Jet al., 2020, Structural and specific barriers to the development of a green bond market in Brazil, Journal of Sustainable Finance & Investment, Pages: 1-18, ISSN: 2043-0795

This paper investigates the factors that hinder the development of a green bond market in Brazil. Based on semi-structured interviews with representatives from the Brazilian capital markets, this study found that there are two sets of challenges. The first comprises structural barriers that curb the development of the local bond market and attraction of foreign investments, such as an unstable macroeconomic environment and inadequate legal protection for investors. The second comprises specific obstacles to the development of a green bond market, such as lower than expected risk-adjusted returns of low-carbon investments. We expect that the research findings will serve as a roadmap for policy-makers on which barriers must be tackled to develop a green bond market in Brazil, thus facilitating the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Journal article

Vinca A, Parkinson S, Byers E, Burek P, Khan Z, Krey V, Diuana FA, Wang Y, Ilyas A, Köberle AC, Staffell I, Pfenninger S, Muhammad A, Rowe A, Schaeffer R, Rao ND, Wada Y, Djilali N, Riahi Ket al., 2020, The NExus Solutions Tool (NEST) v1.0: an open platform for optimizing multi-scale energy–water–land system transformations, Geoscientific Model Development, Vol: 13, Pages: 1095-1121, ISSN: 1991-959X

The energy–water–land nexus represents a critical leverage future policies must draw upon to reduce trade-offs between sustainable development objectives. Yet, existing long-term planning tools do not provide the scope or level of integration across the nexus to unravel important development constraints. Moreover, existing tools and data are not always made openly available or are implemented across disparate modeling platforms that can be difficult to link directly with modern scientific computing tools and databases. In this paper, we present the NExus Solutions Tool (NEST): a new open modeling platform that integrates multi-scale energy–water–land resource optimization with distributed hydrological modeling. The new approach provides insights into the vulnerability of water, energy and land resources to future socioeconomic and climatic change and how multi-sectoral policies, technological solutions and investments can improve the resilience and sustainability of transformation pathways while avoiding counterproductive interactions among sectors. NEST can be applied at different spatial and temporal resolutions, and is designed specifically to tap into the growing body of open-access geospatial data available through national inventories and the Earth system modeling community. A case study analysis of the Indus River basin in south Asia demonstrates the capability of the model to capture important interlinkages across system transformation pathways towards the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, including the intersections between local and regional transboundary policies and incremental investment costs from rapidly increasing regional consumption projected over the coming decades.

Journal article

Vinca A, Parkinson S, Byers E, Burek P, Khan Z, Krey V, Diuana FA, Wang Y, Ilyas A, Köberle AC, Staffell I, Pfenninger S, Muhammad A, Rowe A, Schaeffer R, Rao ND, Wada Y, Djilali N, Riahi Ket al., 2020, The Nexus Solutions Tool (NEST): An open platform for optimizingmulti-scale energy-water-land system transformations, Geoscientific Model Development, ISSN: 1991-959X

<jats:p>Abstract. The energy-water-land nexus represents a critical leverage future policies must draw upon to reduce trade-offs between sustainable development objectives. Yet, existing long-term planning tools do not provide the scope or level of integration across the nexus to unravel important development constraints. Moreover, existing tools and data are not always made openly available or are implemented across disparate modeling platforms that can be difficult to link directly with modern scientific computing tools and databases. In this paper, we present the Nexus Solutions Tool (NEST): a new open modeling platform that integrates multi-scale energy-water-land resource optimization with distributed hydrological modeling. The new approach provides insights into the vulnerability of water, energy and land resources to future socioeconomic and climatic change and how multi-sectoral policies, technological solutions and investments can improve the resilience and sustainability of transformation pathways while avoiding counterproductive interactions among sectors. NEST can be applied at different spatial and temporal resolutions, and is designed specifically to tap into the growing body of open access geospatial data available through national inventories and the earth system modeling community. A case study analysis of the Indus River Basin in South Asia demonstrates the capability of the model to capture important interlinkages across system transformation pathways towards the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, including the intersections between local and regional transboundary policies and incremental investment costs from rapidly increasing regional consumption projected over the coming decades. </jats:p>

Journal article

Köberle AC, 2019, The value of BECCS in IAMs: a review, Current Sustainable/Renewable Energy Reports, Vol: 6, Pages: 107-115, ISSN: 2196-3010

Purpose of ReviewIntegrated assessment model (IAM) scenarios consistent with Paris Agreement targets involve large negative emission technologies (NETs), mostly bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS). Such reliance on BECCS implies IAMs assign it a high value. Past analyses on the value of BECCS in IAMs have not explicitly addressed the role of model structure and assumptions as value drivers. This paper examines the extent to which the value of BECCS in IAMs is enhanced by model structure constraints and assumptions.Recent FindingsPredominant use of high discount rates (3.5–5%) means models opt for delayed-action strategies for emissions mitigation that lead to high levels of cumulative net-negative emissions, while lower discount rates lead to reduce reliance on NETs. Until recently in the literature, most models limited NET options to only BECCS and afforestation, but introduction of other CDR options can reduce BECCS deployment. Constraints on grid penetration of variable renewable energy (VRE) is a determining factor on the level of BECCS deployment across models, and more constrained grid penetration of VREs leads to more BECCS in electricity generation.SummaryThis paper concludes BECCS derives significant value not only from the existing structure of IAMs but also from what is not represented in models and by predominant use of high discount rates. Omissions include NETs other than BECCS and deforestation, low-carbon innovation in end-use technologies, grid resilience to intermittent sources, and energy use in agriculture production. As IAMs increasingly endogenize such constraints, the value of BECCS in resulting scenarios is likely to be dampened.

Journal article

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

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, Vol: 13, Pages: 673-689, 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

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

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., 2018, 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

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

CSP and PV technologies represent energy sources with large potentials. We present cost-supply curves for both technologies using a consistent methodology for 26 regions, based on geoexplicit information on solar radiation, land cover type and slope, exploring individual potential and interdependencies. For present day, both CSP and PV supply curves start at $0.18/kWh, in North Africa, South America, and Australia. Applying accepted learning rates to official capacity targets, we project prices to drop to $0.11/kWh for both technologies by 2050. In an alternative “fast-learning” scenario, generation costs drop to $0.06–0.07/kWh for CSP, and $0.09/kWh for PV. Competition between them for best areas is explored along with sensitivities of their techno-economic potentials to land use restrictions and land cover type. CSP was found to be more competitive in desert sites with highest direct solar radiation. PV was a clear winner in humid tropical regions, and temperate northern hemisphere. Elsewhere, no clear winner emerged, highlighting the importance of competition in assessments of potentials. Our results show there is ample potential globally for both technologies even accounting for land use restrictions, but stronger support for RD&D and higher investments are needed to make CSP and PV cost-competitive with established power technologies by 2050.

Journal article

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

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Conference paper

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