Pathways Toward Zero-Carbon Electricity Required for Climate Stabilization

20 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Richard Audoly

Richard Audoly

CIRED, International Research Center on Environment & Development, France

Adrien Vogt-Schilb

CIRED, Centre international de recherche sur l’environnement et le développement

Celine Guivarch

CIRED, International Research Center on Environment & Development, France; Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (ENPC); Université Paris Est

Date Written: October 1, 2014

Abstract

This paper covers three policy-relevant aspects of the carbon content of electricity that are well established among integrated assessment models but under-discussed in the policy debate. First, climate stabilization at any level from 2 to 3?C requires electricity to be almost carbon-free by the end of the century. As such, the question for policy makers is not whether to decarbonize electricity but when to do it. Second, decarbonization of electricity is still possible and required if some of the key zero-carbon technologies -- such as nuclear power or carbon capture and storage -- turn out to be unavailable. Third, progressive decarbonization of electricity is part of every country's cost-effective means of contributing to climate stabilization. In addition, this paper provides cost-effective pathways of the carbon content of electricity -- computed from the results of AMPERE, a recent integrated assessment model comparison study. These pathways may be used to benchmark existing decarbonization targets, such as those set by the European Energy Roadmap or the Clean Power Plan in the United States, or inform new policies in other countries. The pathways can also be used to assess the desirable uptake rates of electrification technologies, such as electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, electric stoves and heat pumps, or industrial electric furnaces.

Keywords: Power & Energy Conversion, Energy Policies & Economics, Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases

Suggested Citation

Audoly, Richard and Vogt-Schilb, Adrien and Guivarch, Céline, Pathways Toward Zero-Carbon Electricity Required for Climate Stabilization (October 1, 2014). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 7075. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2515615

Richard Audoly (Contact Author)

CIRED, International Research Center on Environment & Development, France

Campus du Jardin Tropical
45 bis avenue de la Belle Gabrielle
F94736 Nogent sur Marne Cedex
France

Adrien Vogt-Schilb

CIRED, Centre international de recherche sur l’environnement et le développement ( email )

France

Céline Guivarch

CIRED, International Research Center on Environment & Development, France ( email )

Campus du Jardin Tropical
45 bis avenue de la Belle Gabrielle
F94736 Nogent sur Marne Cedex
France
+33 143947320 (Phone)

Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussées (ENPC) ( email )

28, rue des Saints-Peres
75343 Paris Cedex 07
France

Université Paris Est ( email )

Batiment Bois de l'Etang
5 rue Galilee
Champs sur Marne, 77420
France

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