7 results found
Patrizio P, Pratama YW, Mac Dowell N, 2020, Socially equitable energy system transitions, Joule, Vol: 4, Pages: 1700-1713, ISSN: 2542-4351
The European transition to a net-zero economy by 2050 implies a wide range of changes that may adversely affect certain industrial sectors, communities, and regions. However, these impacts are entirely obscured by conventional least-cost analyses. Thus, this work compares the socio-economic impacts of various strategies to decarbonize the energy system by 2050 within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We demonstrate that transitions that protect domestic strategic assets and preserve key industrial sectors correspondingly deliver a socially equitable transition. Adopting a technology-agnostic approach to decarbonizing the European electricity system maximizes the associated co-benefits and potentially increases the gross value added (GVA) to the economy by 50% relative to a business as usual scenario. This new way of thinking about the economic transition fundamentally reframes the discussion from one of cost to one of opportunity.
Zhang D, Bui M, Fajardy M, et al., 2019, Unlocking the potential of BECCS with indigenous sources of biomass at a national scale, Sustainable Energy and Fuels, Vol: 4, Pages: 226-253, ISSN: 2398-4902
Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) could play a large role in meeting the 1.5C argets, but faces well-documented controversy in terms of land-use concerns, competition with food production, and cost. This study presents a bottom-up assessment of the scale at which BECCS plants – biomass pulverised combustion plants (“BECCS” in this study) and bioenergy combustion in combined heat and power plants (BE-CHP-CCS) – can be sustainably deployed to meet national carbon dioxide removal (CDR) targets, considering the use of both primary and secondary (waste-derived) biomass. This paper also presents a comprehensive, harmonised data set, which enables others to build upon this work. Land availability for biomass cultivation, processing, and conversion is quantified based on a land-use analysis, avoiding all competition with land used for food production, human habitation, and other protected areas. We find that secondary biomass sources provide a valuable supplement to primary biomass, augmenting indigenous biomass supplies. In initial phases of deployment, we observe that infrastructure is initially clustered near cities, and other sources of low cost, secondary biomass, but as CDR targets are increased and indigenous secondary biomass supplies are exhausted, infrastructure begins to move closer to potential biomass planting areas with higher yield. In minimising the cost of CDR on a cost per tonne CO2 removed basis, we find that the availability of secondary biomass, land availability, and yield are key factors that drive the cost of CDR. Importantly biomass conversion efficiency of a BECCS plant has an inverse effect on CDR costs, with less efficient plants resulting in lower costs compared to their more efficient counterparts. By consuming secondary biomass in BECCS and BE-CHP-CCS plants, the UK is able to be self-sufficient in biomass supply by utilising available indigenous biomass to remove up to 50 MtCO2 /yr, though for cost reas
Truong AH, Patrizio P, Leduc S, et al., 2019, Reducing emissions of the fast growing Vietnamese coal sector: The chances offered by biomass co-firing, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol: 215, Pages: 1301-1311, ISSN: 0959-6526
Vietnam’s Power Development Plan 7A authorized many new coal power plants projects, implying an increase of greenhouse gases emissions from 90 MtCO2eq/year today to 360 MtCO2eq/year in 2030. How could co-firing technology –that is the partial substitution of coal by biomass– contributes to mitigate that problem? In this study, we assess the costs and potentials of co-firing rice residues in present and planned coal power plants in Vietnam using a spatially explicit optimization model: BeWhere, adapted as recursive annual dynamic. We found that, the cost of CO2 emissions is the key parameter determining at what level the technology is used. A cost of CO2 emissions of 8 $/tCO2 mobilizes the maximum technical potential of the rice straw and husk domestic resource, with an annual emission reduction of 28 MtCO2eq/year by 2030. At this level, biomass co-firing contributes to an 8% emission reduction in the coal power sector with the abatement cost of 137 Million USD.
Mandova H, Patrizio P, Leduc S, et al., 2019, Achieving carbon-neutral iron and steelmaking in Europe through the deployment of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol: 218, Pages: 118-129, ISSN: 0959-6526
The 30 integrated steel plants operating in the European Union (EU) are among the largest single-point CO2 emitters in the region. The deployment of bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (bio-CCS) could significantly reduce their emission intensities. In detail, the results demonstrate that CO2 emission reduction targets of up to 20% can be met entirely by biomass deployment. A slow CCS technology introduction on top of biomass deployment is expected, as the requirement for emission reduction increases further. Bio-CCS could then be a key technology, particularly in terms of meeting targets above 50%, with CO2 avoidance costs ranging between €60 and €100 tCO2−1 at full-scale deployment. The future of bio-CCS and its utilisation on a larger scale would therefore only be viable if such CO2 avoidance cost were to become economically appealing. Small and medium plants in particular, would economically benefit from sharing CO2 pipeline networks. CO2 transport, however, makes a relatively small contribution to the total CO2 avoidance cost. In the future, the role of bio-CCS in the European iron and steelmaking industry will also be influenced by non-economic conditions, such as regulations, public acceptance, realistic CO2 storage capacity, and the progress of other mitigation technologies.
Xylia M, Leduc S, Laurent A-B, et al., 2019, Impact of bus electrification on carbon emissions: The case of Stockholm, Journal of Cleaner Production, Vol: 209, Pages: 74-87, ISSN: 0959-6526
This paper focuses on the potential impact of various options for decarbonization of public bus transport in Stockholm, with particular attention to electrification. An optimization model is used to locate electric bus chargers and to estimate the associated carbon emissions, using a life cycle perspective and various implementation scenarios. Emissions associated with fuels and batteries of electric powertrains are considered to be the two main factors affecting carbon emissions. The results show that, although higher battery capacities could help electrify more routes of the city’s bus network, this does not necessarily lead to a reduction of the total emissions. The results show the lowest life cycle emissions occurring when electric buses use batteries with a capacity of 120 kWh. The fuel choices significantly influence the environmental impact of a bus network. For example, the use of electricity is a better choice than first generation biofuels from a carbon emission perspective. However, the use of second-generation biofuels, such as Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO), can directly compete with the Nordic electricity mix. Among all fuel options, certified renewable electricity has the lowest impact. The analysis also shows that electrification could be beneficial for reduction of local pollutants in the Stockholm inner city; however, the local emissions of public transport are much lower than emissions from private transport.
Mendoza-Ponce A, Corona-Núñez R, Kraxner F, et al., 2018, Identifying effects of land use cover changes and climate change on terrestrial ecosystems and carbon stocks in Mexico, Global Environmental Change, Vol: 53, Pages: 12-23, ISSN: 0959-3780
Land use cover change (LUCC) has a crucial role in global environmental change, impacting both ecosystem services and biodiversity. Evaluating the trends and possible alternatives of LUCC allows quantification and identification of the hotspots of change. Therefore, this study aims to answer what the most vulnerable ecosystems and the carbon stocks losses to LUCC are under two socioeconomic and climate change (CC) scenarios–Business as Usual (BAU) and Green. The scenarios integrate the Representative Concentration Pathways, and the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways, with a spatially explicit LUCC. Distance to roads and human settlements are the most explicative direct drivers of LUCC. The projections include thirteen categories of natural and anthropogenic covers at a fine resolution for Mexico for the two scenarios. The results show that 83% of deforestation in the country has taken place in tropical dry forests, scrublands, temperate forests, and tropical evergreen forests. Considering the range of distribution of natural vegetation and the impacts of LUCC and CC, tropical dry and evergreen forests, followed by other vegetation and cloud forests are shown to be most vulnerable. By 2011, anthropogenic covers accounted for 26% of the country’s cover, and by 2050, according to the BAU scenario, they could account for 37%. The Green scenario suggests a feasible reduction to 21%. In 1985, Mexico had 2.13 PgC in aboveground biomass, but the LUCC would be responsible for 1–2% of LUCC global emissions, and by 2100, it may account for up to 5%. However, if deforestation were reduced and regeneration increased (Green scenario), carbon stocks would reach 2.14 PgC before 2050. Therefore, identifying which natural covers are the most vulnerable to LUCC and CC, and characterizing the principal drivers of ecosystems loss are crucial to prioritizing areas for implementing actions addressing resources to combat the loss of ecosystems and carbon stocks.
Summary Concerns have been voiced that implementing climate change mitigation measures could come at the cost of employment, especially in the context of the US coal sector. However, repurposing US coal plants presents an opportunity to address emission mitigation and job creation, if the right technology change is adopted. In this study, the transformation of the US coal sector until 2050 is modeled to achieve ambitious climate targets. Results show that the cost-optimal strategy for meeting 2050 emission reductions consistent with 2°C stabilization pathways is through the early deployment of BECCS and by replacing 50% of aging coal plants with natural gas plants. This strategy addresses the concerns surrounding employment for coal workers by retaining 40,000 jobs, and creating 22,000 additional jobs by mid-century. Climate change mitigation does not have to come at the cost of employment, and policymakers could seek to take advantage of the social co-benefits of mitigation.
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